One of the most beleaguered areas of inner city Glasgow will be transformed by a regeneration project hailed by council bosses as the largest of its kind outside of London.
Sighthill will benefit from new housing, improved amenities and a pedestrian footbridge which will span the M8 motorway to reconnect the community with the city centre.
The £250 million scheme will transform the area, which once struggled to attract new tenants despite being a short walk from Buchanan Street.
A mixture of high-quality private and affordable housing to rent, a new school campus, student accommodation and sports facilities will be built over the next four years.
The Sighthill Megalith, believed to be the first astronomically aligned stone circle to be built in the British Isles in 3,000 years, will also be repositioned as a focal point in Sighthill Park.
It was constructed in 1978 by Glasgow Parks Department but never finished.
“Sighthill has a great location, very close to the city centre and to Glasgow’s major road and rail networks,” said a spokesman for Glasgow City Council.
“However, despite this central location, the Forth and Clyde Canal, the railway infrastructure and the M8 serve as barriers to getting in and out of the city centre easily. The regeneration will reconnect Sighthill to the city centre and neighbouring communities.”
Sighthill was originally known as Broomhill Park and bordered the site of St Rollox chemical works, once the largest in the world.
It was founded in 1800 by the noted industrialist Charles Tennant, the inventor of bleaching powder.
Following the plant’s closure in 1964 the area was earmarked for local authority housing, comprising 10 ‘slab’ multistory blocks as well as smaller maisonette buildings.
But a lack of maintenance and the general unpopularity of high-rise living meant Sighthill became known as a by-word for poverty and a lack of amenities.
It was designated one of eight Transformational Regeneration Areas (TRAs) in the city, which the local authority, housing associations and Scottish Government identified as priorities for large-scale regeneration.
Work was not scheduled until the late 2020s but the Glasgow bid to hot the 2018 Youth Olympic Games - which would have seen the athlete’s village built in Sighthill - allowed the project to be accelerated.
The remaining high-rise blocks will be demolished in stages this year while major soil decontamination work is carried out across the site.
Pinkston Road and Pinkston Drive will close to traffic from June 27 as part of the work, before reopening in early 2018.