What is GOW?

GOW is the community group established by those who live around the backcourt bordered by Gibson Street, Otago Street and Westbank Quadrant

Why ?

We work for the physical and social improvement of our community. Our journey began with the transformation of our shared backcourt.

The GOW backcourt is an open communal space with access through two gaps in the surrounding sandstone tenements. The refurbishment of the backcourt included re-organising the open space, improving the bin storage, dealing with security and access problems, planting and artworks.

The improvement project was neccessary because the GOW backcourt had suffered years of neglect. The backcourt was also vulnerable due to the lack of security, giving the public free access for a range of unsavoury and illegal activities.

View the transformation here

Where do we Go From Here ?

We aim to maintain the standards we have set. To upkeep our beautiful communal area and to encourage everyone in our community to both enjoy and be responsible for it.

We will enhance our community’s understanding of the history of this little part of Glasgow and appreciate the huge strides made within it. We will encourage action, progress and care for the wider environment.

Our belief is that a cohesive, involved community with pleasant surroundings, creates a better environment and inspires everyone to make a difference.

We’ve begun to build on our success and offer more opportunities for community involvement. Join us now.

A Brief History of GOW

In 2000, a group of students from 97 Otago Street decided to have a clean up. They posted around notes inviting residents to come along and help. Armed with heavy-duty black bags donated by Glasgow City Council, they and other residents made some inroads into the dreadful mess, filling a huge number of bags.

GOW community group tentatively formed in late 2001 and in February 2002 had their first public meeting held in an empty local shop. The aim was to find out what the residents wanted from the backcourt and to find out what was possible.

With the assistance of Kelvin Clyde Greenspace, who formed the Sustainable Backcourt Initiative (SBI) in 2003, we were able to build on the efforts of residents to clean up the area.

Kelvin Clyde Greenspace, assisted us both in terms of practical help (cutting back of overgrown trees and bushes) and advice (how to obtain funding, a bank account and organise GOW etc.). Our group gained confidence in realising a backcourt intended to be used by all, not just abused by a few.

Work was completed in 2006





See our video of resident’s discussing transformation



View photo gallery of backcourt transformation


Read more about GOW website


GOW Community

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