The Portal

Take a walk on the creative side…

The Portal is an exciting community arts venue in the heart of Govan. It offers a wide range of arts and creative opportunities to people of all ages and abililities. Housed in a strip of six formerly derelict shops, the venue is currently home to arts organisations including Sunny Govan Radio; Scotland in Europe; an Artist in Residence; Air Gallery Space and Plantation Productions who manage the whole complex.

The initial rennovation and fit out of the shops was led by Govan Housing Association back in 2008/9, and was one of a number of early action projects undertaken as part of the Central Govan Action Plan. Following an artist-led design, both the interior and exterior of the shops were improved. The shopfront improvements and the presence of The Portal have brought this section of street back to life, a stretch of Govan Road that had previously lain boarded up and vacant for more than twenty years.

The run of shops at The Portal is currently the subject of a second, smaller phase of investment through the CGAP Shopfront Improvement Grant Scheme. Minimal grant funding has been applied for to improve the exterior appearance of the shop units. A simple improvement scheme is proposed using paint and joinery work to delineate each art space and correct the proportions of the frontages. This will improve the appearance, character and desirability of the properties. As part of the improvement scheme, the external shop shutters will be raised to create an active street frontage during the day and night. This will be the first big test to prove whether Govan really is ready to be open for business. It is hoped that other shopowners will follow suit. Works are expected to commence early in the New Year 2013.

Key Facts 

Timescale: 2007-2009

Cost: £795,000

Funders: Scottish Arts Council, Scottish Enterprise, Govan Housing Association, Glasgow City Council

Partners: Govan Housing Association, Plantation Productions (Roots in the Comunity)

Design Team: Colin Begg (Artist)

Current Status: Complete