Wester Hailes Community Trust invites applications to tender for Making Places project

The Wester Hailes Community Trust is inviting applications to tender from suitably experienced organisations/agencies to provide a design led team that can deliver a community led design process including a 5 day charrette focused on community planning priorities for the Westside Plaza as part of their ongoing Making Places: Westside Plaza project.

As well as organising and delivering the charrette, the successful team will be responsible for producing the resulting masterplan for the Westside Plaza as a tool that can be used by the community in future discussions and actions for this area.

In recent years the Westside Plaza has been a constant theme when WHCT has asked the community about their concerns and priorities. Despite being the main transport hub for Wester Hailes and the location of important local amenities including the Library, Job Centre and shopping centre, this area is drab and unwelcoming.

Crucially, it is not a place people choose to linger, leading to it feeling empty and intimidating. Concerns about anti-social behaviour are often cited as those who do occupy this space sometimes use it for aggressive and/or disruptive activity, exacerbating the situation.

WHCT thinks that the Plaza has huge potential to become a welcoming civic space, a focal point for community activity and a catalyst for social, economic and creative regeneration. They applied to Scottish Government’s Making Places programme to enable a community led process to be started that will give the community a voice when decisions are being made about the current and future layout of the Plaza. This process kicked off on Wednesday 14 February 2018 at an event at Wester Hailes library which asked local people what they think of the current civic space and what changes they would like to see. The Trust now plans to hold other consultation sessions and pay a visit to local organisations to gather more views.

To launch the second phase of the Making Places: Westside Plaza the Trust will be holding a 5 day charrette in April The WHCT is therefore inviting applications to tender from suitably experienced organisations/agencies to provide a design led team to:

  • Undertake an initial analysis of the Plaza square and its context to provide a baseline before the charrette process. This analysis will look at how the square works at the moment including all existing routes and linkages, uses, built frontages etc.
  • Design and deliver the 5 day charrette programme focused on producing a collaborative community Masterplan for the Westside Plaza. Drop in sessions within this space will be a key part of this process but we would also expect the tender to include innovative ways of working with groups and stakeholders within the wider area.
  • Utilise pro-active and creative engagement to enable the diverse sections of the Wester Hailes community to participate fully in the charrettes process. Although some local residents live relatively close to the Plaza we would expect to see involvement from all the different neighbourhoods that make up Wester Hailes in recognition that the Plaza is a space that is important to everyone in terms of its amenities and transport links. People living in Wester Hailes face challenging economic circumstances and significant numbers feel disengaged and isolated within this community with low levels of self-confidence. The successful team will have experience in working with similar communi ties and engagement approaches that demonstrate an understanding of the potential barriers to participation for people living here.
  • Include other key stakeholders who are based in or have an interest in the Plaza including the Odeon Cinema, the Shopping Centre, Gala Bingo, the Library, the Job Centre, Lothian Buses, Police Scotland, the Hailes Bar and Lounge, and the City of Edinburgh Council.
  • Produce a community designed Masterplan for the Plaza that has an overall plan and a Delivery Action Plan. The action plan will breakdown the Masterplan into a series of projects; some of these may be major projects requiring substantial funding, others may be smaller/low cost/creative projects which can be taken on by the WHCT or other community groups within a shorter timeframe. The Masterplan will represent local aspirations for physical improvements but also include social aspects raised through the charrettes that demonstrate how the space can be made accessible, inclusive and welcoming for all.
  • It is expected that following the conclusion of the charrette, the design team will support the promotion of the process and lessons learned. This will involve providing feedback into a charrette summary document which will help to inform charrette working in Scotland and the publication of the outputs of the charrette in the charrette summary document

You can read an embedded copy of the full tender document below. The Trust would expect the charrette and Master Plan to be completed by 31st May 2018. The tender proposal should be sent by email to Priscilla Marongwe, Chairperson of Wester Hailes Community Trust on info@westerhailesct.org.uk by 12.00 noon on Monday 19 March 2018. Any questions can be sent by email Allan Farmer at info@westerhailesct.org.uk or contacting 0131 458 3267.

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