From There… To Here

The social history of Wester Hailes

BRITAIN’S MOST IMPROVED STREET

The physical regeneration of Wester Hailes took off in a big way in the 1990s. This was largely thanks to the influx of significant grant funding into the estate as a result of it becoming one of the four partnership areas under the New Life for Urban Scotland programme set up in 1989 and the establishment, a year earlier, of its own community based housing association.

 If you click on the link below, you can read a newspaper report about a big success stories of that era. From being a rundown, depressing street with poor quality housing, Barn Park Crescent (formerly Wester Hailes Drive) was reborn as “Britain’s most improved street” as a result of a comprehensive refurbishment process. Cay MacVicar, a long time resident, tells what it was like to be a part of this transformative process and the difference it made to her and her family’s lives.

 What’s even more significant is that this was an early example of what has come to be regarded as the key outcome of urban regeneration programmes – long-term sustainability. The environmental improvements have not only survived intact but have matured and improved and continued to enhance the neighbourhood over the years, more than justifying the major investment which was made at the time. In an in-depth tenants survey conducted by Prospect in 2009, 100% of resident in Barn Park pronounced themselves satisfied with the “overall design and layout” of their home and the external landscaped areas nearly 15 years on.

Click here to read the article

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