SWG3 announces new public garden

We're very happy to reveal that the first phase in our plan to transform a huge stretch of derelict land behind the building into a new community garden will be completed this week.

Situated behind the main SWG3 warehouse building, in consultation with neighbours, resident artists, staff and the wider local community, 3,200m² of wasteland has been redesigned as we prepare for one of the most significant developments yet at the SWG3 complex: green space. After being registered as derelict by Glasgow City Council for over a decade, the land is being completely remodelled into a truly shared space for the community to grow, plant, play and create. 

With the SWG3 summer programme starting shortly, access times to The Garden will be published soon on our website and from next spring, the garden will be open daily, all year round. A green oasis in the heart of the city, it's a space where everybody from local residents to tourists and bands with their touring parties can socialise, relax and connect with nature.

A space for everyone

In collaboration with sustainable food collective Propagate, SWG3 have held an intensive – and creative – consultation process. Through surveys, canvassing, workshops and a garden party held in the grounds, an incredible amount of information and ideas were gathered on everything from bees to biodiversity, walkways to wildfires. 

With the garden’s development then being led by horticultural and design expert Jeremy Needham, the first sign of life has been a significant one. Since The New York Times’ Climate Hub, hosted at the venue during COP26, Jeremy has been lovingly looking after a miniature forest of indigenous plants and trees, donated by the global institution following a powerful installation in SWG3’s Galvanizers space by artist Es Devlin.

A spacious outdoor terrace has also been built, stretching out beneath the Warehouse windows and featuring a sculpture designed by award-winning Scottish artist Jaqueline Donachie. Titled STEP, the artwork will be installed on the terrace as modular seating units. Initially created for Glasgow International 2021 it explores the relationship between built environments and the different types of bodies accessing them.

A vision for the future

As well as addressing a known demand for public greenspace and growing space in the area, the garden is a key part in SWG3’s vision for the future, which includes the site going completely net-zero. Our ambitious plans we hope to unlock not only the potential of the SWG3 site and its people, but also the surrounding areas and beyond, using arts, creativity and nature to help tackle poverty and climate change.

Across the rest of the year, work will begin on bringing to life the plans for the rest of the space, including lawn areas, growing and food production beds, a sheltered gathering space, sensory planting area and a woodland walkway. 

The garden project has been made possible thanks to £511,037 of generous funding from a combination of funders including the Vacant and Derelict Land Fund, the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund and VKR Foundation.

“We’re delighted to be able to reveal our plans for The Garden. It’s an integral part of our vision in creating a truly world class cultural and circular campus, as well as an exciting way for SWG3 to become even more involved with our local community. As a project, The Garden holds so much potential to collaborate, learn and create and we can’t wait to welcome visitors later in the year.” 

Andrew Fleming-Brown, MD of SWG3