About the Project

Historical

Shieldhill is an old mining settlement to the South of Falkirk with the largest village population in Falkirk District Council. According to the latest Local Council census statistics there is 2598 people in and around Shieldhill with 418 young people below the age of nineteen. This is a higher proportion of young people per capita than any other settlement in the Falkirk area. Unfortunately, the area suffers from an under provision of facilities and poor quality green space. These issues have been identified by dialogue with stakeholders and Falkirk District Council in their Local Plan. A Feasibility Study carried out by Shieldhill Community Wing asked what people would most like to change in Shieldhill. This highlighted the following results:

  • Play park for children with modern equipment.
  • Teen shelters.
  • Improved facilities for children to get off the streets.
  • More activities for youths and swing parks for children.
  • Some place for teenagers to get of the streets.
  • Somewhere for teenagers to go.
  • Extra facilities.

There is currently a severe lack of amenities in Shieldhill and yet it has the largest village population in Falkirk District Council. The project will address this issue and has gained widespread support from a number of agencies and the local Community. Collectively, we all have a social responsibility to provide a safe environment for social well-being within our Communities. Therefore, this service will endeavour to create a non-profit public service with the best use of investment and resources available. Volunteers will also be utilised thereby creating Community ownership. Someone once said, “Regeneration is not just about bricks and mortar. It's about changing attitudes and giving people the confidence and support to make changes for themselves”

The aim of this project is to provide a Community amenity for the youth and Community of Shieldhill. At the same time maximising the potential of Westend Swingpark by regenerating part of a village that has long been neglected and vandalised, into a Community Recreational Resource. This hall and surrounding land will provide a facility in which to engage with the youth of the Community in an attempt to deter Anti-Social behaviour. This will be achieved by the premises being utilised by the local youth club (one of the biggest in Central Scotland) as well as the Community as a whole. It is our view that this would drastically reduce incidences of Anti-Social behaviour. This view is also shared by Local Police Authorities.

Main Objectives

A key objective will be to engage the Community from the outset in the development and creation of this resource so that their is a strong sense of Community ownership. Consultation with stakeholders will identify opportunities for ongoing Community involvement making informed decisions as a Community.

Plans to Maintain the Project

As this is a non-profit organisation, all monies raised through small lets will be used to help fund the annual lease payment, utility bills, general upkeep of the hall & grounds with any surplus funds being principally reinvested for that purpose in service and community rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit.

Protection of the Environment

This project seeks to enhance the physical, social and built environment of Shieldhill, by transforming an area of wasteland that has been long neglected, vandalised and used as a site for illegal dumping of rubbish. By creating this Community Recreational Resource, anti-social behaviour will be deterred to the social benefit of the whole Community. By re-introducing play equipment and play area, the aim is to enhance the physical well being of the youth of this community. Furthermore, landscaping in Phase 3 of the project will create a natural environment that will hopefully encourage the community to utilise this area 24/7.

Milestones

This project has three clearly defined stages:

  • Stage 1) Clearing of site, ground preparatory works and installations of services e.g. water, sewerage & electricity. Installation of new boundary fencing. Installation of Modular building.
  • Stage 2) Installation of Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) pitch & new play equipment.
  • Stage 3) Landscaping of grounds.

Evidence of the Need for the Project

The Local Plan Village Statement for Shieldhill recognises two key issues for the village area:

  • The need to consolidate the large scale growth for the last 20 years.
  • The need to improve the quantity and quality of open space provision.

It goes on to state under “Sustaining Communities” that “Shieldhill has experienced a high level of house building over the last 20 years, with only limited commensurate growth in community facilities and services.”

Extract from the Falkirk Rural Local Plan Public Inquiry Report, January 1994:
“The witness (for Carronvale Building Company) noted that there was an expanding and youthful population in the area, but there was a severe lack of recreational facilities. This was borne out by the results of a statistical survey of the attitudes of local residents, which showed that 90% of households in the area thought that existing recreational space in Shieldhill was inadequate.” This situation has worsened considerably since then.

Shieldhill and California Community Council have approached Falkirk District Council to improve and update equipment in the park. Regrettably they are financially constrained and unable to assist. Further evidence can be found in the “Greenspace in and around Shieldhill” - a Community Consultation Report by Central Scotland Forest Trust, 2004.

 
 
  • The Scottish Government
  • Forth Valley and Lomond Leader
  • The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development
  • Falkirk Environment Trust
  • Avondale Environmental