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Glasgow City Centre Regeneration - Beyond The Commonwealth Games

Glasgow City Centre Regeneration - Beyond The Commonwealth Games

So, not long now until the Commonwealth Games.  The Games promise to put Glasgow under the international spotlight, providing excellent profile for the city and a huge benefit to the local economy.  Not to mention the feel-good factor that they will generate.

Will Usain Bolt be participating in the Games?  Which events will Mo Farah compete in?  Will the sun come out to play?  Very pertinent questions indeed.  But Glasgow will be judged not just on the quality of the spectacle itself, but on that word... yes, “legacy”.  The Games will be over before we know it, but as exciting as they may be it is perhaps what they leave behind that really matters.

Looking across the Glasgow skyline, it is encouraging to see an ever-increasing number of cranes and there is further high-profile redevelopment in the pipeline.  The upgrade of Queen Street Station will make the city more accessible and attractive.  A number of new Grade A office buildings are growing out of the ground.  The Buchanan Galleries TIF scheme will bring an exciting new leisure and retail offering.  Depending upon who you talk to, all good news.  But there is still a long, long way to go.  Walking down Sauchiehall Street recently, once the jewel in the Glasgow retail crown, I was struck by the number of empty shop premises and “to let” boards - a picture that is unlikely to improve as retailers and consumers are attracted to the Buchanan Galleries end of the city, not to mention the growing impact of online shopping.  And West Regent Street, for instance, is awash with empty office premises.

Glasgow has a real opportunity to use the Games – and the investment in infrastructure that has gone into delivering them - as a catalyst for breathing new life into the city centre.  But in order to deliver further regeneration and development we need to be prepared to think differently and adapt to the changing economic and market dynamics.  How do we bring empty premises back into use?  Can traditional funding models continue to deliver speculative regeneration projects?  How can the public and private sectors work together more effectively to deliver results?  What can Glasgow learn from Manchester - host city of the 2002 Commonwealth Games - and indeed from other cities within Scotland, the UK and beyond?

These are the issues we look forward to discussing at “Look Who’s Coming to Dinner – Glasgow City Centre Regeneration beyond the Commonwealth Games – Rhetoric or Reality” on Thursday 29 May at The Reid Building, Glasgow School of Art.  The discussion will explore who should have a seat at the table to breathe new life into the regeneration of this cultural city.

If you have not had a chance to reserve your place at the event, please contact Elaine Creamer on
+44 (0)131 473 6181 or email elaine.creamer@burnesspaull.com

Steven McKinlay