Glasgow is shining

The Commenwealth Games will bring great benefits to the city.

Sheena Macleod

Glasgow is becoming a great city to live in, with new and exciting projects coming this way. During these economic difficulties, Glasgow has been able to maintain a vibrant economy. Over the past decade, major developers and investors have been welcomed to transform and shape large parts of the city.

The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth games have come at the right time to regenerate projects and bring development to the city during these challenging economic periods. The transformation of the city is bringing more opportunities to the city and is helping employment rates grow in Scotland. The Government Economic Strategy states that it “reaffirms the Scottish Government’s commitment to delivering faster sustainable economic growth with opportunities for all to flourish.”

Advisor to Glasgow 2014 strategic group, George Black, who is also chief executive in the Glasgow city council, said that he was “responsible” for managing the construction of day to day operations within the city. “At present the economies of most western countries are going through an extremely difficult time. However, prior to the global financial crisis the Glasgow economy was performing very strongly, particularly in finance, tourism and the service sector. I expect Glasgow to continue to perform strongly once there is an economic upturn, supported by the improved physical infrastructure that will be in place by 2014.”

Construction around the city has helped secure more jobs and creates more for the future and help platform a new era for infrastructure, housing and sporting facilities.

The main construction has taken place in the East end of Glasgow were the building of one of Europe’s biggest indoor facilities will be held. The athletics stadium – the national indoor sports arena and the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome – and the athlete’s village will be home to more than 6,500 competitors and officials in 2014. The new neighborhood of more than 1,400 socially rented and private homes will then be used in the years after the games.

The Velodrome is set to be a big hit at the Games.

The amount of work to be done in such a short space of time, can add a lot of pressure. However, Mr Black Said: “There is certainly no room for complacency but, to date, the construction programme has been well managed with a great deal of effort going into ensuring there is proper co-ordination of works in close proximity to each other, e.g. the east end of the city. The construction programme is well underway with all major projects on site.”

The Commonwealth 2014 is already moving Glasgow up the economic ladder and can take the city to another level, however the total cost of “£1 Billion” for the construction transport and venues projects seems a little out of Scotland’s budget. Mr Black commented that: “The Scottish government is funding around half of this cost. The games themselves will cost £524 million of which the Scottish government is providing £344 million. The council is providing £80 million with the balance coming from commercial income.”

In hindsight, this will hopefully profit Scotland for an independent future, in the hope that the commonwealth games exceed its full potential in making money from both games and commercial income.

Black also said “The main focus for Glasgow is to boost its employment status and help improve the city. Large events can bring significant economic benefit to the city in terms of employment and visitor spends. The Glasgow city marketing bureau measures the economic impact of all major events to ensure the city is getting best value from public expenditure on supporting events.”

Indoor sports will be held in world class venues across the city.

The completion of the river side museum, the new £70m Buchanan shopping quarter and the opening of the M74 are ways in which Glasgow is developing it’s vital that Glasgow makes money out of commercial income for the Games to be a success. These projects are ways to help boost the economy and get people into the country and with the completion of the M74 it provides easier access to, from and across Glasgow and ensures the city is better connected both nationally and internationally. These are the types of projects that will help take Glasgow to the next level.

Over the coming years the main “challenge” for the city will be to create more jobs, particularly in the private sector. The Scottish Government and the Glasgow City council are working together to help make a better Scotland. Black said: “We also need to work harder to improve over recycling efforts and tackle drugs and alcohol misuse. We need to have a well educated, well trained workforce available for new employers.” In light of this, if Glasgow’s economy improves over the next couple of years, Scotland can look forward to a bright future independently.

 


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