Public realm projects kick-started in Glasgow in run up to Youth Olympic Games bid

Glasgow City Council hopes to give itself a winning boost in its bid to host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games by launching a fast-track major regeneration programme.

Sighthill was singled out as preferred site for the athletes’ village two weeks ago but the short timeframe of the bid process means work to transform the area needs to start before a host city is announced next July.

"This means transformation of the area will go ahead up to 20 years earlier than originally planned regardless of whether the city wins the bid," said the council, adding it had the full support of the Scottish and UK governments and the British Olympic Association.

Plans will include a network of green spaces linking the area to the city centre and public realm projects such as piazzas and a village square. More than 800 homes and new schools will be built after massive land decontamination and demolition of five tower blocks.

Sighthill, in the north of the city, is the largest of eight priority regeneration areas in the city. Until now it was slated for redevelopment and regeneration in around 20 years. It will now be well underway for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games to the east of the city.

Council leader Gordon Matheson 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 impetus to lever in private money."

"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 is a huge opportunity to put in place new facilities and infrastructure. This plan will accelerate regeneration of Sighthill whether or not the bid is successful."

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