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> Buchanan Galleries Expansion Plan, Has The SNP Saved Glasgow 56m?
GG
post 30th Mar 2011, 09:32pm
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A controversial plan by Glasgow City Council to use tens of millions of pounds of public money to upgrade and expand a Glasgow shopping centre has been temporarily shelved after the SNP Scottish Gvernment failed to approve the scheme prior to the Holyrood elections. The plan, described by Glasgow MSP Patrick Harvie as "high-risk" and "irresponsible", involves the council borrowing 56m to give to the largest commercial property company in the UK.

The proposed Buchanan Quarter TIF initiative would see the council pay the borrowed money back over 25 years, using additional business rates which senior councillors say would be generated by the development.

The scheme has been poorly received by the Glasgow public, many of whom point out that the council is currently imposing savage cuts in vital public services which many experts believe will hit the city's weakest and most vulnerable citizens the hardest. In February this year, the council announced 58 million of cuts, including the loss of 2600 jobs.

In a dramatic twist the story, management at the Buchanan Galleries' biggest rival in the city, the St Enoch Centre, have warned that they intend to take legal action against the council if the subsidy for the Galleries and its multi-billion-pound parent company goes ahead.

Retail experts fear that an expansion of the Buchanan Galleries could suck the life out of the rest of the city centre where currently a fifth of the city's retail floorspace is vacant. However, councillors dispute this, claiming that an expanded Galleries will have no impact on the overall market.

Commenting on the plan's failure to win government approval, a spokesman for Glasgow City Council said:
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"We are very disappointed that the Scottish Government did not make a decision on the Glasgow TIF before the election campaign. We hope the new administration will make an early announcement a priority."

Harry Reid, owner of a baby store on Trongate for 25 years, said that current trading conditions in the city have never been so hard. He added:
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"We can't understand why the council would put money in to doing up the top of Buchanan Street, he said. That will just suck business away from the Trongate, the Merchant City, Argyle Street and, yes, parts of Sauchiehall Street too."

A concerned Evening Times reader said:
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"Surely the millionaire owners of Buchanan Galleries can well afford to fund the centre's expansion without our money. At a time when the city needs every penny, it seems wasteful in the extreme to use public cash to help boost profits at a private shopping centre. After all, I can t see the bosses of the Buchanan Galleries cutting dividends to shareholders in order to pay for schools or hospitals in Glasgow."

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Jupiter
post 30th Mar 2011, 09:40pm
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I wonder if this has been some of these councillors 'at it' again?
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Heather
post 30th Mar 2011, 11:02pm
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I agree with the Evening Times reader.

The owners of Buchanan Shopping Centre should fund the expansion scheme with the profits they make from the public instead of making themselves richer at tax payers expense.


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Scotsman
post 31st Mar 2011, 12:29am
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So.... we're losing hospitals, nurseries, care centres, shelters, clinics, community halls, libraries, hostels, schools etc etc and the uber-priviliged cooncillors in Georges Square think that we need to spend millions on more shops???

I've a simple question for these people who want to throw our money down a big drain.... what planet are you on?
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**granny-teddybear**
post 31st Mar 2011, 06:21am
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Millions on a shopping centre and thousands on a cricket pitch in Bellahouston Park. They are not on a planet they're in Cloud cuckoo land
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*Tommy K*
post 31st Mar 2011, 07:05am
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I do not see the need for any expansion of the Buchanan Galleries - especially at the top of Buchanan Street as taking away the dramatic stairs entrance to the Royal Concert Hall woul badly damage the vista of that truly dramatic entrance. Then their is the utter complexity of the closure of Buchanan Bus Station (albeit temporary) which would cause no end of traffic probl;ems in a precinct which at present is difficult enough to drive through. NO! leave things as they are as we are well penetrated with shopping malls. The Glasgow District Council should also take into account the effect that any further development and/or expansion could have on smaller business's in the City Centre area and it is wrong to potentially borrow millions which eventually will only benefit the profits of multinational fims who never consider returning some of their profits for our community's benefit.
Tommy K
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GG
post 31st Mar 2011, 07:58am
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That's correct, Tommy, the steps in front of the Royal Concert Hall would be removed under the plan. The steps have become an important feature of Glasgow city centre, with shoppers, workers and tourists using them to rest and relax on – especially when the weather is good. Glasgow band Glasvegas will give a free show from them next week, and I photographed them this week as opera singers used them to give an impromptu open-air performance.

GG.

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*Polster*
post 31st Mar 2011, 09:14am
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At last a party who stands up for Glasgow.... even by doing nowt! smile.gif
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**Phil**
post 31st Mar 2011, 11:54am
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The fact that commercial developers are unwilling to fully finance such a cumbersome and protracted development is a clear indicator of the fundamental weakness of the business case for this development.

My opinion is that this plan will go no further than it has now as I think a number of council officers and members will want to have a closer look at the plan following recent announcements.

If the city has money to invest then it should be spent on increasing the overall footfall into the city center, not on diverting existing visitor spend to a smaller area within the retail hub.
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nan mcdonald
post 31st Mar 2011, 12:20pm
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Do the developers of The Buchanan Street Redevelopement think the People Of Glasgow are crazy? Families are Strugling to cope with cuts, they do not need any fancy cosmetics done in the city to generate more cash for themselves.

If G.C.C. wants to borrow 54mln. let them put it towards stopping some of the cuts being imposed on the City Of Glasgow Good Folks.
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droschke7
post 31st Mar 2011, 03:32pm
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The one way to solve this whole charade is to vote on the 5th of May.
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tamhickey
post 31st Mar 2011, 04:07pm
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So the council thinks it prudent to borrow 56m to aid property developers whilst at the same time announcing 58m worth of cuts to the people of Glasgow? I think it would be fair to say that those proposing such a scheme had never studied accountancy or indeed social studies.
The smell of brown envelopes lingers with this discredited council.....
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auldbutcher
post 31st Mar 2011, 04:43pm
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QUOTE
So.... we're losing hospitals, nurseries, care centres, shelters, clinics, community halls, libraries, hostels, schools etc etc and the uber-priviliged cooncillors in Georges Square think that we need to spend millions on more shops???

I've a simple question for these people who want to throw our money down a big drain.... what planet are you on?

Christo Scotsman yer on the money where dae these people come fae how dae clowns like this get elected tae seats o power in the city chambers is there a lot o underhaun skulduggery goin on that we urnae privy tae.

Wance agin these clowns bend ower backwards tae support avaricious moneymakers where does it end ,like i said already time fer an investigation intae the going ons there seems iffy tae me.
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wee davy
post 31st Mar 2011, 08:52pm
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QUOTE (droschke7 @ 31st Mar 2011, 03:49pm) *
The one way to solve this whole charade is to vote on the 5th of May.


100% correct, droschke.
Give them the order of the boot.


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Rabbie
post 31st Mar 2011, 09:16pm
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Bothered by Political Correctness or Politicians?

My solution:~

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