A New Public Space at Kelvinbridge
Webster’s Theatre, Bar, Restaurant is a beautiful venue and fantastic asset to Glasgow’s West End. Situated on Great Western Road at Kelvinbridge, Webster’s was formerly the Lansdowne Parish Church an A-listed Gothic Revival Church. It was originally built by John Honeyman in 1863 and featured stained glass windows by Alf Webster, for whom the theatre is named.
Proposals for an Outdoor Space
Proposals for an outside events space at North Woodside Road in the cul-de-sac at the entrance to Websters have been submitted to Glasgow City Council. These exciting plans have been drawn up during the Coronavirus pandemic, which has highlighted more than ever the importance of outdoor public space and factors such as social distancing.
This report identifies a public open space that would be of great benefit during Covid-19 as an interim and experimental scheme. Proposals for an interim use of the North Woodside Road culde-sac in front of Websters Theatre were submitted to the City Services team in September and these are developed in this short report.
Please read this exciting proposal and add your comments.
Immediate Benefits for the Public Realm
• A pleasant south facing public space would be created above the River Kelvin using existing surfaces, with public use for events and during festivals.
• The area would be used by pedestrians and cyclists and defined by planters along the northern boundary
• The scheme would support the recovery of Websters Theatre programme in the event that social distancing continues well into 2021.
• The existing socially distanced outside seating around the theatre would be extended to occupy the square for six months in the summer in a continental fashion with a small performance stage directly opposite the entrance.
• Pedestrianisation of the area would complement the landmark building and enable theatre audiences to assemble, socially distanced, before entering for performances.
It should be noted that the stage and associated performance outdoors will only be possible when the Covd-19 restrictions are lifted sufficiently to permit such activity. The proposal assumes that outdoor events will carry less risk than indoor events and might therefore be permitted sooner. If successful an application will be made to Creative Scotland Open Fund to fund a regular Saturday programme over the summer months. Websters Theatre will supply the staff, box office and stewarding to enable outside performances to take place with controlled numbers while maintaining a through route for pedestrians and cyclists as illustrated below. The management of the space will be in accordance with the City Councils guidance and requirements. This will be an important opportunity for the creative sector to start to function again after so many artists, theatre personnel and companies have had their actvities and in many cases livelihoods suspended.
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