The Grade “B” Listed St. Luke’s and St Andrews Church is located in the Calton’s Bain Square at the very heart of Glasgow’s East End and a stone’s throw from the city’s legendary Barras and Barrowlands, it was designed by Glasgow’s James Wylson and erected in 1836.
The main church was extended by a brick clad timber kit structure in the 1980’s to provide additional hall facilities for the congregation. The Church of Scotland vacated the premises in 2011. Purchased in June 2012 St Luke’s was regenerated with the aid of £200 000 worth of Glasgow City Heritage Trust Grant and £326 000 Scottish Government Town Centre Regeneration Grant through the Glasgow City Council, Action Barra’s Calton Area Regeneration Fund.
St Luke’s and Bain Square were at the heart of Glasgow City Council’s Calton Area Development Framework Regeneration Strategy published in August 2012. This site was described in the strategy document as a “key public space” with the vacant church building “acting as a centre piece to the Square”. It was noted that successful regeneration could “enable Bain Square and St Luke’s to have a role as a neighbourhood facility and could help promote a positive identity for Calton.”
The original church building retained a significant proportion of original fixtures and fittings including a fully operational organ, the minister’s pulpit and leaded glass windows and two stunning stained glass windows. The regeneration created two multi use venues, including a balconied 700-capacity main hall and smaller 200 capacity second facility operating as The Winged Ox bar/restaurant. The venue includes full catering kitchen, green rooms, new “front of house” public toilets, external courtyard space, disabled access, ancillary and staff support accommodation.
Connectivity between the two multi use spaces was achieved by removing the windows on the original south external elevation which become internal with the addition of the extension. The glazing here was re used to refurbish the retained windows by Conservators Cannon-McInnes. Cannon-McInnes also fully conserved the stained-glass windows either side of the chancel. Full fabric repairs were also undertaken.
Working closely with Glasgow City Council Land and Environment Services comprehensive redevelopment proposals were developed for Bain Square to compliment the regeneration proposals for St Luke’s. This included removing “stuck on” access ramps creating an integrated stepped and graded level access. Pedestrian lay lines and routes of circulation were also analysed and integrated into the service requirements of a 21st century music performance venue bounded by a public urban realm square.
Supporting StatementThe Calton Barras Action Plan, funded by Glasgow City Council and Scottish Government's Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, established in 2012 with the aim of delivering physical regeneration of this area, immediately to the east of Glasgow city centre, and the aspiration of creating a healthier and more sustainable neighbourhood through a place-making approach and enhancing access to employment opportunities, green space, local facilities and services.
In August 2012 the Glasgow City Council Calton Area Development Framework was published following extensive community consultation and engagement;
“The Calton Area Development Framework provides a vision and strategy for the regeneration of the area, and acts as locally relevant planning policy. In brief, it sets out a framework for the future use of key buildings, the development of vacant land and the improvement of streets and spaces. It also acts as a means of stimulating development interest and creating a distinct sense of place, particularly for areas such as the Barras Market, Bain Square and south east Calton.”
The vacant St Luke’s and derelict Bain Square were identified as the potential “Heart of Calton” as part of this regeneration strategy.
“The Council considers there is an opportunity to strengthen the role of Bain Square as a neighbourhood centre, by creating an attractive, adaptable open space facing on to Bain Street, supporting increased community use and promoting a sense of place. The listed church building acts as a centre-piece to the Square and there is local support for its re-use as a community facility”
The Action Barras Calton was subsequently formed as a vehicle for delivery of the CADF. ABC was constituted as a community group comprised of residents, shop keepers and stakeholders based in this historic area of Glasgow. Focusing on the regeneration of the Calton community this group included our client St Luke’s Glasgow Ltd having purchased the vacant property from the Church of Scotland in 2015
Subsequent projects delivered through CBAP included the St Luke's music and arts venue and environmental improvements to Bain Square, a crucial space forming a link between Calton and the Barras. St Luke's Regeneration Project and Bain Square Urban Regeneration Scheme were successful in the Scottish Governments 2016 “Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning" under the category of PLACE. The judges commented “the developers, along with the Council, had tackled a site within an area which, whilst renowned for intense community spirit, needed improvement to bring respect and worth back into the local area. The Church now operates as a successful business which attracts new people into the area……quite simply the “neighbours were now proud of their new place”.
St Luke’s and The Winged Ox, with the associated urban improvements to Bain Square, demonstrate a response to redefine the urban and social characteristics of a town centre area which had suffered from under investment and poor urban planning strategy. The development has formed the basis, with accompanying developments, for the continued growth, regeneration and redefinition of the Calton and Barra’s area in a wider city context.