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> Buchanan Galleries Expansion Plan, Has The SNP Saved Glasgow 56m?
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:
"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:
"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:
"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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Posts in this topic
- GG   Buchanan Galleries Expansion Plan   30th Mar 2011, 09:32pm
- - Jupiter   I wonder if this has been some of these councillor...   30th Mar 2011, 09:40pm
- - Heather   I agree with the Evening Times reader. The owner...   30th Mar 2011, 11:02pm
- - Scotsman   So.... we're losing hospitals, nurseries, care...   31st Mar 2011, 12:29am
- - *granny-teddybear*   Millions on a shopping centre and thousands on a c...   31st Mar 2011, 06:21am
- - Tommy K   I do not see the need for any expansion of the Buc...   31st Mar 2011, 07:05am
- - GG   That's correct, Tommy, the steps in front of t...   31st Mar 2011, 07:58am
- - Polster   At last a party who stands up for Glasgow.... even...   31st Mar 2011, 09:14am
- - *Phil*   The fact that commercial developers are unwilling ...   31st Mar 2011, 11:54am
- - nan mcdonald   Do the developers of The Buchanan Street Redevelop...   31st Mar 2011, 12:20pm
- - droschke7   The one way to solve this whole charade is to vote...   31st Mar 2011, 03:32pm
|- - wee davy   QUOTE (droschke7 @ 31st Mar 2011, 03:49pm...   31st Mar 2011, 08:52pm
|- - ionnsaigh   QUOTE (droschke7 @ 31st Mar 2011, 03:49pm...   15th Apr 2011, 12:35pm
- - tamhickey   So the council thinks it prudent to borrow 56m to...   31st Mar 2011, 04:07pm
- - auldbutcher   QUOTE So.... we're losing hospitals, nurseries...   31st Mar 2011, 04:43pm
- - Rabbie   Bothered by Political Correctness or Politicians? ...   31st Mar 2011, 09:16pm
|- - benny   This latest "get rich quick" scheme by G...   31st Mar 2011, 10:47pm
|- - ionnsaigh   QUOTE (benny @ 31st Mar 2011, 11:04pm) Th...   15th Apr 2011, 05:16pm
- - George Brown   I am not sure on the point, but I read somewhere t...   31st Mar 2011, 09:24pm
- - wee davy   Well nobody can accuse you of lacking in ambition ...   31st Mar 2011, 09:34pm
- - GG   QUOTE (George Brown @ 31st Mar 2011, 09:4...   31st Mar 2011, 09:38pm
- - GG   One area that is, unfortunately, really struggling...   31st Mar 2011, 10:00pm
- - glasgow lass   O'no dont change this magnificent area it coul...   31st Mar 2011, 10:47pm
- - Norman G   I wonder how much money changed hands to get this ...   31st Mar 2011, 11:07pm
- - *Clyde*   To be fair to the councillors who want to gift a m...   2nd Apr 2011, 01:41am
- - Grampar   I am only glad that we have a Government in Edinbu...   3rd Apr 2011, 09:07pm
- - Alex Saville   Wonder where that staunch Labourite, Dexter, is? S...   4th Apr 2011, 10:55am
- - serabash   When will the people of Glasgow wake up and see t...   4th Apr 2011, 01:25pm
- - mlconnelly   Serabash, i agree about labour party and have been...   4th Apr 2011, 11:14pm
- - GG   A very interesting reflection by Pat Kane on the s...   22nd Apr 2011, 10:07am
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