Commonwealth Games 2014: impacts and legacy in Dalmarnock, Glasgow

Tuesday 15 August 2017

In two new reports, we consider the impacts and legacy of hosting the Commonwealth Games in the Dalmarnock area of Glasgow, where most of the new Games-related development and associated regeneration activity was focused.

The first report, After the Event: Perceptions of Change and Perceived Issues of Fairness in Dalmarnock, Glasgowconsiders the views of residents living in the pre-existing community of Dalmarnock, in close proximity to the main sports arena and residential development created for the Games.  The research involved in-depth, qualitative interviews with 20 householders, both long-term and more recent residents in the area.   The report shows positive views of the physical improvements in the area and a welcoming of the new infrastructure in the area both for attracting people to visit Dalmarnock and for improving its image.  

On the other hand, there were feelings of grievance about the lack of acknowledgement of the disruption local people had endured for the Games, and of injustice concerning the lack of improvement in housing conditions for some local residents, particularly when compared with the quality of new housing in the area.  

The report also highlights some of the remaining challenges to developing an inclusive and cohesive community in Dalmarnock, including: mixed views about the greater social and ethnic diversity in the area; reports of pressure on local services from an expanded population; a lack of use of new amenities by long-term residents; and a continuing absence of key local services such as shops, a primary school and play areas, all of which may assist with the integration of new and existing residents.  

Respondents also exhibited a lack of knowledge about future plans and the intended rate of progress for the area, with concerns that the pace of change had slowed since the Games.

The second report, Achieving a Sustainable Mixed Community: Report of a Survey of Residents of the Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village in Glasgow in 2016, is based on a survey of 310 residents of the Village, divided roughly 60:40 between social renters and private sector occupants, in line with the development itself. 

The report begins by examining why people moved to the Village and where they came from, finding that 45% of residents came from the East End, with 23% having a prior connection to Dalmarnock itself.  The Village has provided high quality housing, an attractive and quiet environment, a relatively mixed community, and a socially harmonious place. The vast majority of residents were found to be happy with their decision to move to the Village.   

The report also considers the sustainability of the Village, this being one of the key original objectives of its developers.  In environmental terms, despite the evident high quality, there are concerns about care, cleanliness and maintenance of the local environment by service providers and residents. 

To be socially sustainable and in housing demand terms, the report identifies the need for more social amenities to be provided nearby, better access and use of existing amenities by social renters, and continued development and investment in the area to allay concerns about the Village sitting in a wider locality of incomplete regeneration.

The two reports form part of the GoWell East research project.  Access further information on the project.

GoWell East is sponsored by Scottish Government, NHS Health Scotland and sportscotland.