City regeneration plans unveiled for Glasgow’s Youth Olympic Games Bid

PLANS to fast-track a major regeneration of a large area of Glasgow as part of the city’s bid to host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games were unveiled today.  Back the Bid here!

Sighthill has been revealed as the preferred site for the Athletes’ Village if the city secures the Games. The area’s size and location makes it the ideal site for the village.

However, because of the short time frame of the bid process, work to transform the community will need to start before the host city is announced.

This means the transformation of the area will go ahead up to 20 years earlier than planned regardless of whether the city wins the bid.

It is therefore a legacy of the bid itself, which is based on a strong partnership between Glasgow City Council, the Scottish Government and the British Olympic Association, and has the full support of the UK Government.

Regeneration plans will include:

•    up to 700 homes – comprising a mix of tenures including private sale, low cost home ownership, and market and mid-market rent - built by a private partner on the site of the Pinkston multi-storey flats in Sighthill
•    a further 130 homes for social rent built by Glasgow Housing Association on the site of the already demolished Fountainwell multi-storeys
•    a new education and community campus including nursery and primary schools
•    a village square
•    a new bridge over the M8 motorway providing better pedestrian links to the city centre
•    public realm works and new shops
•    a network of green spaces linking the area to the city centre
•    land decontamination

Sighthill, in the north of the city, is the largest of eight priority regeneration areas – known as Transformational Regeneration Areas (TRAs) - in Glasgow. Until now, it was likely to be one of the last of those communities to be redeveloped and the regeneration work would have been up to 20 years away.

The village would provide accommodation for 6000 athletes and officials and would be on a similar scale to the Athletes’ Village currently being built in Dalmarnock in the east end of the city for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The Youth Olympic Games bid has provided us with an opportunity to speed up what will be a generational change for Sighthill.

“The bid gives us the impetus to work with the local community and our partners - and to lever in private money - to rebuild Sighthill as a popular and vibrant community. The regeneration of the area was always a priority for the city but the bid means it can now happen much faster than ever envisaged.

“The transformation of the area will bring hundreds of new homes for local people, as well as a new school campus, community facilities and better links for pedestrians to the city centre. It will also create jobs and apprenticeship places, and help unlock the development potential of other areas to the north of the city centre.

“What’s great about this is that we need to start work on this regeneration before we know if we’ve won the bid. As a result of Glasgow just bidding for the Games, people’s lives will be transformed. You’d struggle to find a bid anywhere in the world that delivers a legacy like that.”

Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport Shona Robison said: “Bidding for the Youth Olympic Games could not only bring another world class event to Glasgow, it is a huge opportunity to put in place new facilities and infrastructure.

"This plan will accelerate the regeneration of Sighthill, whether or not the bid is successful, and create a new community.

“As the transformation of the area begins, effective engagement with the community in Sighthill by all partners will be crucial.”

GHA’s Executive Director of Regeneration Alex McGuire said: “We look forward to engaging with the tenants and homeowners in Sighthill to discuss the exciting plans for the accelerated regeneration of this part of north Glasgow.”

If the bid for the Games is successful, the Pinkston part of the site would be used firstly as the area for the Athletes’ Village before being turned into homes for the people of Glasgow after the 2018 event.

Three of the multi-storey blocks at Pinkston were already earmarked for demolition with residents already in the process of being rehoused in other homes. GHA will now be asked to reconsider the future of the remaining two blocks which were previously due to be kept and fully refurbished.

The 400 residents from those two blocks will be offered a range of options for moving to a new home. This may include the chance to move to one of the new-build homes in Sighthill or at one of GHA’s other nearby new-build sites such as Barmulloch, Roystonhill and Duke Street/High Street. There will also be opportunities for GHA tenants to move to other new-build homes across the city or to an existing GHA home which has been fully modernised.

GHA will meet with each resident individually to discuss options and find out their preferences and needs – for example whether they want to remain in the area or move to another community. They will then begin finding a home that suits their needs.

It is expected all residents will be moved into their new homes and the five tower blocks demolished by 2016.

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