GLASGOW City Council has announced that a taskforce will review the current model of the city’s famous Argyle, Buchanan and Sauchiehall Streets in the face of changing retail trends and the increase in vacant units and sites.
The move comes as the local authority said indications show the need to move to a mixed-use model in all town and city centres.
The review will take a masterplanning approach to reimagine the streets to help guide future planning policy and housing strategy – with the creation of a sustainable mix of uses being eyed to create a ‘modern, vibrant and sustainable’ city centre.
A priority in the review is Sauchiehall Street, with a vision to develop and drive footfall in the street with a mix of uses and high-quality public realm in the context of the emerging proposals for the Buchanan Galleries.
Glasgow’s City Centre Task Force (CCTF) – whose membership comes from local, national and UK Government; the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce; and the core city sectors – will also be involved in the review.
Councillor Angus Millar, depute convener for inclusive economic growth at Glasgow City Council and co-chair of the city centre task force, said, “We all want our city centre to be a place where people want to live, work, shop, visit, invest and do business. Sauchiehall, Argyle and Buchanan Streets are at the heart of Glasgow’s shopping district, but we know that the retail sector is changing.
“Securing a vibrant, sustainable future for the city centre will mean supporting a range of uses – including retail, hospitality, office and residential – and undertaking a masterplanning approach will help identify the right mix for these key destination streets.
“It’s vital that we take a strategic approach to supporting areas like Sauchiehall Street, identifying opportunities for the repurposing of vacant retail/commercial units, redeveloping gap sites and reviewing the balance of different uses of property there. This review will make a significant contribution to our recovery efforts and promoting a positive future for our city centre.”
Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, added, “Glasgow has a city centre that relies not only on the footfall of local residents but on the wider catchment areas where the population traditionally depends on Glasgow for their shopping and leisure needs. As such, our city centre was disproportionately impacted by travel restrictions amid the pandemic, with recent closures such as Next on Argyle Street and Marks and Spencer on Sauchiehall Street highlighting just how in need of a masterplan our city is.
“We warmly welcome this recent announcement and look forward to working closely with the CCTF to consider how we create the conditions that will breathe life into the core of the city to increase footfall and attract future investment as we continue to grow and develop. This is an exciting time for Glasgow city centre and news of development proposals from St Enoch Centre, Buchanan Galleries and the City Innovation Districts will play a significant role in those plans.”