From Bandstand to Botanics … £15 million clean-up of River Kelvin begins at 11 sites

By Ian Marland at

Scottish Water’s multi-million pound investment project along the River Kelvin in Glasgow’s West End is under way.

The work is being done to improve the environment and water quality along the river.

But the public have been warned to expect some disruption – and the loss of a small number of trees.

River Kelvin. Picture: Scottish Water

Scenic: The works will improve the environment and water quality, according to the utility

New and waste water infrastructure is being constructed to help prevent domestic items such as rags, baby wipes, plastic cotton buds, etc getting into the river.

The waste is washed into the water during severe storms.

Preparatory work for the £15 million project will span eleven sites along the Kelvin Walkway from the bandstand in Kelvingrove Park to the Botanic Gardens.

During preparatory work, a small number of trees will be removed to allow access for the construction of the new infrastructure.

But replanting will take place in conjunction with the city council.

An archaeological dig will also be carried out as part of the works.


Expected to begin mid-March, the dig will take place at the site of the former North Woodside Flint Mill and will ensure that anything of historical importance on this heritage site is protected and preserved.

Ruaridh MacGregor is Scottish Water’s corporate affairs manager.

He said: “All of this preparatory work is vital for the success of this project, which will ultimately improve a really important environmental and recreational space in the heart of the West End”.

“We know that Kelvingrove Park and the Kelvin Walkway are very popular places for people to spend their free time and we want to reassure everyone that we’ll do all we can to keep any disruption to a minimum.”

Paul Milligan, aBV communication manager, added: “I would really like to thank all of the local community groups and representatives for the local area who have given us their time and attention during the preparation stage for this phase of the project.

“It really has been invaluable in helping to inform our plans, particularly the best locations for our infrastructure.”


Sally Johnston is chair of Friends of the River Kelvin (FORK), a long-established volunteer conservation group that cares for the river. She said: “Through the consultation that we’ve had with Scottish Water, we realise that the ultimate aim is that the river quality will be improved. We’re supportive of the work.”

The first phase of construction will commence in late February at the bandstand with the majority of the construction phase commencing in early summer 2019.

A section of the footpath near to the bandstand will be closed for health and safety reasons during those works – however, the Kelvin Walkway will remain open throughout this project.

Work on the entire project is expected to be completed by the end of summer 2020.

More about this work can be found here.