Vision approved for key streets in Glasgow city centre

PROPOSALS to revitalise arguably Glasgow’s three main retail thoroughfares have been approved by the city’s elected members.

Councillors yesterday approved plans for the ‘Z’-shape of streets comprising Argyle Street, Buchanan Street and Sauchiehall Street.

Says the local authority, here: “The ‘Golden Z’ project is funded by the Scottish Government’s City Centre Recovery Fund and will be overseen by Glasgow’s City Centre Task Force, co-chaired by Councillor Angus Millar and Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce.”

There are six themes to the proposals, under the headings: ‘Balanced’, ‘Legible’, ‘Living’, ‘Working’, ‘Vibrant’ and ‘Responsible’.

Continues the city council announcement: “The redevelopment of three ‘areas of focus’ – the former ABC / Jumpin Jacks site adjoining the Glasgow School of Art, the area on Sauchiehall Street around the former BHS, Watt Bros, and former Victoria’s nightclub gap site, and the area around the vacant TJ Hughes site near Trongate – has been identified as key to the success of both the local areas and the wider Golden Z.

“The vision and delivery plan reimagines the Golden Z, responding to the post-[Covid-19] pandemic challenges and opportunities currently facing the city centre. The council and their consultants – [engineering consultants] Stantec (UK), Threesixty Architecture and [urban planners] Kevin Murray Associates – engaged with the area’s landowners, businesses, institutions, agencies, residents and visitors to discuss how best the Golden Z should be improved in the future.”

The announcement adds: “As part of the engagement, consideration was given to the main issues currently affecting the Golden Z – such as the impact of changing retail and leisure trends, a growing city centre population, lingering post-pandemic behaviour changes in how we shop, work and live, and the pressing need to repurpose vacant sites and buildings in the area, changing investor and occupier demands – as well as the potential contribution of significant future redevelopment proposals, such as those recently announced for both the Buchanan Galleries and St Enoch Centre.”

It goes on to say: “To achieve these objectives, and have a transformative impact, the following actions / interventions have been identified as a focus for action: progressing the redevelopment options for the three ‘areas of focus’; proactively tackling blight and promoting good stewardship of buildings and sites; the creation of world-class public spaces; exploring the creation of a Sauchiehall Cultural District; and ensuring cross-sector collaboration in delivery and the exploration of governance.”

Pictured: Glasgow School of Art and Sauchiehall Street, Picture credit: Glasgow City Council

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