Glasgow United Kingdom

Consultation on ‘Scotland’s most important economic area’ launched

Glasgow City Council has launched a consultation so that residents, businesses and organisations based in Glasgow can have their say on how the city should develop into the next decade.

The new City Centre Strategy will focus more on the future of town and city centres, whilst also influencing the development of what the council labelled “Scotland’s most important economic area” through employment, transport and population.

More recent proposals will build upon the first City Centre Strategy (2014 to 2019), as well as other work to support the city as it recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic. Taking the city up to 2030, this will come at a time that brings significant change for urban centres thanks to an increase in the popularity of online shopping, the impacts of the pandemic on working arrangements, and plans to achieve net zero.

At the moment, the city plays host to over 150,000 jobs, more than 4,000 businesses, and generates economic activity worth almost £10 billion every year.

Convenor for City Recovery, Cllr Angus Miller, said:

“The city centre is experiencing significant and rapid change and that requires a clear and coherent vision to take that forward, one that ensures it remains Scotland's most important economic space while becoming greener, more vibrant and with a much bigger population…

"…The new City Centre Strategy brings together work from our Vision for the 'Golden Z' of traditional shopping streets, to the regeneration of neighbourhoods like Garnethill, Broomielaw, Merchant City and Townhead, through to the redevelopment of George Square and creation of a new cultural quarter.

"People across the city and beyond have a stake in the future of Glasgow city centre. It's the heart of Scotland's only metropolitan region and vital to the social and economic well-being of this city. I look forward to the coming public consultation on the Strategy so that everyone can have their say."

A number of actions are planned to support the incoming strategy, with these including the continued rollout of the Avenues Programme. An example of the effectiveness of this scheme can be seen in how large sections of the famous Sauchiehall Street have been transformed, with the new strategy helping to build on existing work and helping to boost culture, focussing on the evening and night-time economies.

Stuart Patrick, Chief Executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, added:

 "A long-term strategic view like this is very welcome as Glasgow city centre faces a range of pressing and developing challenges from transport and empty units to footfall and the night-time economy. From that perspective, we're encouraged to see that the strategy includes positive initiatives developed through the City Centre Task Force and previous work programmes, including the Golden Z review and recommendations on commercial property repurposing. It's also pleasing to see the continuation of the avenues project, proposals for a cultural quarter for Sauchiehall Street and the creation of a dedicated development support team.

"Private sector investment will of course be crucial for delivery, and we've seen the success of that in the recent past with ongoing regeneration projects at St Enoch Centre and the Met Tower. This strategy will help set the principles upon which we design the next version of Glasgow city centre, with the aim of making it a magnetic experience that still embraces retail, hospitality and boasts a vibrant, growing and innovative economy. This is a fantastic opportunity for the people of Glasgow to have their say on these matters and we'll be encouraging our members to do that as well."

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Image credit: iStock

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