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The Portal

Making a difference
Improving the quality of arts provision in the area
Partnership working
Providing artists development and production facilities
Engaging children and young people
Engaging minority ethnic communities
Engaging people with disabilities


Roots in the Community, Plantation Productions and Govan Housing Association have been partners in the concept of the creation of The Portal, the first phase of a major regeneration plan for Central Govan which has transformed a row of derelict shops into an arts hub.

The facility is at the heart of Govan, within a high profile regeneration initiative, the Central Govan Action Plan, which has been developed with the support of the local community. Portal interior; Photo: Germaine Hahn

In Central Govan, individuals and groups have restricted opportunities to get involved in artistic and creative activities.  The Portal will enable local people to take part in an eclectic range of activities and benefit from the new available resource.

The Portal will give crucial support to the work of the partners and will guarantee continued engagement with the people of Govan.  It will provide a home for the creative network and a platform from which to develop local audiences, nurture and promote local talent and profile Govan both nationally and internationally.

Making a difference

Portal exterior before; Photo: Germaine Hahn

The Portal has been a huge improvement for the area.  The new frontage with the innovative lighting elements has increased a sense of activity and vibrancy to what had been a very desolate and derelict site.

There is a greater sense of safety for local residents, which will be further supported by the increase in footfall generated by people attending activities in the facility.

Local residents who have visited, including those who were previously unsure as to what role the arts could make in their lives, have informally commented that the facility has made a positive contribution to the area. Additionally, the corner now benefits from the improved lighting which has resulted in less loitering which had previously been identified as a source of concern for local people.

The exterior includes an “Art Rail” and a light Gobo which will provide signage but equally importantly information on arts and cultural events happening throughout the area. Portal exterior after; Photo: Germaine Hahn

Improving the quality of arts provision in the area

“This development has been immensely important for Roots in the Community.  It has enabled us to operate in the heart of the community on the doorstep of many residents who have been unable to access the arts, or the organisation, easily in the past.  Offering the flexible front area has been paramount to the success of arts provision in the heart of Govan as groups, organisations and agencies now have access to an affordable, purpose built space.  Its situation on Govan Road, the visually impressive frontage and artistic lighting elements have raised awareness of the organisation and the profile of arts in the area.”

Lesley Anderson, Roots in the Community

Partnership working

The Portal has proven to be an exemplary example of cohesive partnership working with all build elements being designed with full partners consent.  Importantly for the community where resources are limited, effective partnership working assured there was no duplication of services or spend giving greater value for money.

Additionally the partners have secured funding through a joint application to develop marketing materials and promote The Portal to a wide audience ensuring local people will be informed of activities in which they can participate.  The partners are currently working on a 3 year programme of activities for the Portal.

Providing artists development and prduction facilities

The Portal has given a ‘home’ to the Creative Network where both existing members and those interested in joining can meet, share ideas, receive information on what is happening locally within the arts sector and feel included in the larger artistic movement. Portal interior: Photo: Germaine Hahn

The Portal has also been used as an exhibition space for work undertaken by local people with learning support needs.

Engaging children and young people

Moving into the new premises at the Portal has given Plantation Productions the opportunity to extend their work with local primary schools, secondary schools and youth groups including a pilot Transition film and drama project.

There have also been increased opportunities for young people to get involved in taster filmmaking sessions (including, theatrical make-up, drama, script writing and visual arts) within their local youth groups.  These sessions raise awareness of the different skills required in the film making process and have identified a number of young people who wish to get involved in the film making workshops scheduled to run over three years at the Portal.

Engaging minority ethnic communities

The Govan Integration Network (GIN) provides weekly drop in support session for asylum seekers and refugees.  With the proportionately high number of asylum seekers and refugees residing in Govan the network plays a vital role.

Portal interior; Photo: Germaine Hahn The space has resulted in the network meeting again and the continued employment of the local artists.  The feedback has been very positive with higher attendances leading to GIN booking a second day to run an additional support/art drop in.

Engaging people with disabilities

The entire project was developed with disabled access as a primary consideration and all areas are fully accessible.  Additional provision has been made to those with sensory impairment with the purchase of a portable loop system.


The project was made possible with an award of £125,000 from the Scottish Arts Council towards the £457,000 capital project.  It also received financial support from Communities Scotland, Scottish Enterprise Glasgow, Govan Housing Association and Glasgow City Council.

Related links
* Govan Housing Association
* Communities Scotland
* Scottish Enterprise
* Glasgow City Council
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