Book Week Scotland 2018 runs from 19 November to 25 November                




Working with a wide range of partners, Scottish Book Trust – the national charity changing lives through reading and writing – will deliver events and activities across the country during Book Week Scotland 2018, which runs from 19 November to 25 November, linked to this year’s theme of Rebel.


The programme for Scotland’s seventh national celebration of books and reading launched with a photocall of rebellious librarians held at Central Library, Edinburgh. Drag queen and Book Week Scotland ambassador, Nancy Clench, and bestselling author Claire Askew posed with copies of the Rebel book, which features a story from Nancy, as well as others submitted from the public.


During Book Week Scotland there are hundreds of free events taking place across many different local authorities, funded by Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC). In Glasgow, there is a selection of interesting events for Book Week Scotland, including:


Story Café Special: Kirstin Innes: November 22, 12.30pm – 2.30pm

Glasgow Women’s Library


We have revelled in the centenary of the birth of the iconic, inimitable Muriel Spark. In our final salute, join Scottish writer Kirstin Innes, who will talk about the legacy and impact of Spark on her own writing, reading snippets from her favourite Spark books, and examining Spark through her own acute literary lens. All washed down with lashings of tea, cake and friendly chat. A free ticketed event, please telephone 0141 550 2267 to book your place.




The Gutter Magazine Party, November 22, 7:45pm – 22:45pm

Stereo, 22-28 Renfield Lane


It’s the annual celebration of Scotland’s magazine of new writing and this year there is lots to celebrate! It’s the end of the magazine’s first year as an independent coop, the eve of their tenth anniversary, and they’ve just put out the biggest issue ever which has also been the best-selling publication at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. So, come into town for some of Scotland’s best poetry, music and short stories! A paid ticketed event, please book your event online.




Book Week Scotland 2018

Book Week Scotland 2018 runs from 19 November to 25 November
Drag Queen Nancy Clench with the Book Week Scotland Rebel Book at The Edinburgh Central Library.
The programme for Scotland’s seventh national celebration of books and reading was launched today, Wednesday 3 October, with a photocall of rebellious librarians held at Central Library, Edinburgh. Drag queen and Book Week Scotland ambassador, Nancy Clench, and bestselling author Claire Askew posed with copies of the Rebel book, which features a story from herself, as well as others submitted from the public.
Working with a wide range of partners, Scottish Book Trust – the national charity changing lives through reading and writing – will deliver events and activities across the country during Book Week Scotland 2018, which runs from 19 November to 25 November, linked to this year’s theme of Rebel.
There are hundreds of free events taking place across many different local authorities, funded by Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC). Authors holding events include: bestselling YA writer and activist Juno Dawson; crime writer Ann Cleeves and outdoors expert and broadcaster Cameron McNeish.
Rebel Book
Free copies of the Rebel book can be ordered via Scottish Book Trust’s website. 100,000 copies have been printed and the book will also be available from libraries across Scotland during Book Week. The book contains 40 stories, including work from: bestselling author Sara Sheridan; playwright and performer Jo Clifford; Book Week Scotland ambassador and forensic anthropologist Professor Dame Sue Black, and Gaelic writer David Eyre.
An ebook and audiobook version of Rebel will also be downloadable from Scottish Book Trust’s website. Scottish Book Trust has once again partnered with Royal National Institute
Photograph by Martin Shields
Tel 07572 457000
© Martin Shields


Queering the Map of Glasgow: November 24, 6.30pm – 8.30pm

Category Is Books, 34 Allison Street


Knight Errant is back, putting queer experiences firmly on the map of Glasgow. Ely Percy will read from their debut novel Vicky Romeo plus Joolz, a butch meets femme romantic comedy set in Glasgow and due to be published in February 2019; followed by readings from Ryan Vance, Michael Lee Richardson, Eleanor Capaldi and other mystery speakers.




Rebelling Against the Traditional Ideas of Family: November 24, 6pm – 8pm

Arlington Baths Club


The real-life experiences of three women writers who, in very different ways, have created new kinds of families is the focus for this inspiring event. Shazia Hobbs, author of The Gori’s Daughter, Carol Fox, author of Memoirs of a Feminist Mother, and Susan Campbell, author of A Dog Owners’ Guide to Fulfilment, will talk about their efforts to create different kinds of families from the accepted norm. A free ticketed event, please book your space online.






For the first time, Book Week Scotland will run ‘Pitch-it’, an opportunity for libraries and community groups to submit their proposal for an event. Those involved include: bestselling author Joanne Harris, discussing her new book Blue Salt Road; rapper, writer and activist Akala; public speaker Sam Conniff Allende of Be More Pirate; and Scottish Alt-folk musician and author Peter Kelly, aka Beerjacket. Scottish Book Trust will welcome submissions for interesting and creative events that fit the Rebel theme. Submissions are now open, and the deadline is 17 October. Applications can be made via Scottish Book Trust’s website.


Initiated by the Scottish Government and supported by National Lottery funds through Creative Scotland Targeted Funding, Book Week Scotland is delivered by Scottish Book Trust (and its partners) from 19 November to 25 November 2018. There are hundreds of free events taking place across many different local authorities, funded by Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC).


For more information about Book Week Scotland 2018 and how you can get involved, visit www.bookweekscotland.com where you can find information about all the events taking place in your local area.


Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: “We’re delighted to present another packed programme for Book Week Scotland, our national celebration of reading and writing. After listening to feedback, Scottish Book Trust is pleased to make 100,000 copies of the Rebel book available to the public. Many thanks to our partners and funders for making this programme possible, and we hope everyone joins us for Book Week Scotland, whether at a physical event, or by taking part in our Digital Festival.”


Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “As a life-long and avid reader, I know that there’s no greater pleasure than losing yourself in the magic of a book. That’s why I welcome this fantastic launch of 2018 Book Week Scotland programme, a flagship event of Scotland’s culture sector celebrating books, reading and Scotland’s rich literary history and dedicated this year to exploring the theme of ‘Rebel’.


“For the seventh consecutive year, the Scottish Government is proud to support this incredible event, which stems from the Scottish Government’s commitment to literature and as part of our commitment to literature and ensuring more people can access and enjoy cultural activity more often.


“I congratulate Scottish Book Trust and the Scottish Library and Information Council for organising such a fantastic programme of events and activities throughout Scotland, which you can be a part of in your home, at school or college, in your local library or at work, as well as online. I encourage everyone in Scotland, especially during 2018 Book Week Scotland, to commit to finding some time to immerse themselves in the world of books.”


Erin McElhinney, Literature Officer, Creative Scotland, commented: “Scottish Book Trust have produced a programme that offers a whole host of routes into reading and writing, offering a cause to the rebel in all of us. It’s a week to celebrate new partnerships and connections, between organisations and the public, between digital and the book – and an invitation to challenge our own boundaries around reading.”


Glasgow Gets Ready For Winter

grits n pieces george bowie

Glasgow has already taken delivery of 24,000 tonnes of grit as part of the city’s preparations for Winter.

With the first gritting of winter 2018/19 fast approaching, the council has also assembled a fleet of 160 vehicles to deal with snow and ice, deployed almost 1500 grit bins in neighbourhoods across the city and assembled a squad of volunteer winter wardens for local areas.

grits n pieces george bowie

Two cycle routes in the city have been identified for priority 1 action for the first time as part of a pilot programme to support active travel over the winter months. A new web-based story map has also been developed which will explain how and where the council allocates it resources in response to wintery weather.

Last year winter gritting began on October 29 and with arrival of the ‘Beast from the East’ in late February 2018, the council concluded its winter operation in April after using 23,850 tonnes of grit over the course of 121 separate days of action.

With this year’s Winter Maintenance Plan placed before the Environment, Sustainability and Carbon Reduction Committee, the city is again gearing up for the winter months. Under the plan, the council uses daily, tailored weather forecasts to gauge the predicted impact of snow and ice on the city, which then feeds into the priorities for action.

The primary focus on each day of winter action is to treat over 900 kilometres of priority 1 carriageways (about half of all roads within the city), priority 1 footways and the priority cycle ways. The aim of the winter action is to facilitate as far as reasonably possible safe passage of pedestrian and vehicles over public roads.

Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, said that after the battering Beast from the East delivered to Glasgow earlier this year, the city will be bracing itself for round two. But she stressed the city’s residents should take confidence from the preparations that are already in place.

Councillor Richardson said: “Last winter was one of the worst on record, but we managed to keep the city moving in the toughest of circumstances.

“As ever our gritting teams had a vital role to play and were out day and night to keep roads and footways as safe as possible. The volunteer winter wardens rose to the challenge, marshalling public spirited individuals in neighbourhoods all across the city to tackle local snow and ice. And the city’s 1500 grit bins were an invaluable resource for members of the public determined to do their bit.

“As ever we always seek to refine and improve our plans and people can have faith that we are prepared in case the worst happens again.

“I am delighted there will be greater support for those who travel to and from the city centre by bike. It’s vitally important that active travel is still an option even during the depths of winter.

“And our winter story map will help to make information on the winter maintenance plan as accessible as possible. The winter story map will help people to see clearly where we are taking action across the city.

The pilot programme for cycle routes will cover South West City Way, West City Way and the link with Kelvingrove Park.  These routes will be gritted or cleared any time there is an instruction for winter action on the city’s priority one footways.

The Winter Story Map will be available on the council website this month. It will help people identify the nearest priority one route to them. Refills of grit bins can be ordered through the My Glasgow phone app.


Universal Pictures to film on a number of Glasgow city centre streets soon

Glasgow is to welcome yet another major film production to the city from 24 October, when a Universal Pictures production will film on a number of city centre streets including George Square, Ingram Street and St Vincent Street.

The size of the production – which will consist of a secondary film unit of 200 crew – means that the production will have a significant impact on the city’s economy.


Information on the production is being given to local residents and businesses.  Filming some of the film’s scenes means that some road closures will be necessary.  Scenes will be shot at the following locations on the following days:


  • Wednesday 24th October – John Street, George Street, Cochrane Street, Ingram Street
  • Thursday 25th October – John Street, George Street, Cochrane Street, Ingram Street
  • Friday 26th October – Junction of South Frederick Street, George Square and Cochrane Street
  • Saturday 27th October – Under M8 and footbridge
  • Sunday 28th October – From Montrose Street to West Campbell Street


Councillor David McDonald, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “We will soon welcome this film shoot to the city centre, testament to the continued pulling power of Glasgow in attracting major productions.  Council officers are working closely with the production to make sure that filming goes as smoothly as possible while minimising any impact on the daily life of residents and businesses.  This will be a spectacular production that showcases Glasgow as a fantastic filming location.”


The council’s Glasgow Film Office, working with officers across the council and other partner organisations, has attracted and assisted film, broadcast and advertising productions that have generated around £300million for the city’s economy since it was established in 1997.  Just some of these productions included the films World War ZFast & Furious 6Outlaw King, and the recently-released The Wife, and television productions OutlanderShetland and The Cry.


More information on the Glasgow Film Office is available at: https://www.glasgowfilm.com/index.aspx?articleid=11533.


New Street Bins Sack The Plastic


Glasgow’s new, big street bins are set to save the city from literally throwing away over 850,000 plastic bin bags every year.

Almost 950 of new larger capacity street bins have now been put in place in six areas across the city as part of a £3m scheme to install 5200 new street bins across the city by 2020.


With 10,000 old-style pole mounted and free standing bins being replaced, there has still been a 60% increase in street bin capacity and there are already signs that the new bins are helping to keep the city tidier.


An audit conducted by Keep Scotland Beautiful identified an 18% reduction in litter in the areas where the bins have been stationed and initial surveys within these communities indicate members of the public are expressing high rates of satisfaction with the new bins.

Sensors in the bins are currently being used to determine bin fill rates and to help us develop suitable collection schedules. The bins require to be emptied much less frequently which improves the efficiency of the service.

Unlike the old-style bins, the housing for the new street bins contain wheelie bins, which means there is no need for a plastic bag lining that will end up in landfill along with tonnes of general waste. Not using plastic bags in street bins will also eventually save the council up to £60,000 per year.

Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, is delighted with contribution the bins are already making to efforts for a cleaner Glasgow. But with the council already working on a Plastic Reduction Action Plan, Councillor Richardson sees the phasing out of bin liners for street bins as quick win for the environment.

Councillor Richardson said: “Our new street bins are already making a positive impact and we hope to see a much cleaner Glasgow as they are installed across the city.  The new bins are much larger and they contain the rubbish much more effectively. People now have no excuse not to use a street bin to dispose of their waste. Everyone still needs to do their bit to keep Glasgow tidy.

“These larger bins are much less likely to overflow and will prevent rubbish from being blown on to the street. We also have a new collection system for these bins, which means we no longer have plastic sacks sitting in the street waiting to be picked up. These bags sometimes split or are ripped and so we can now avoid refuse spilling on to the road, which will make a big difference.

“But one of the major pluses with the new scheme is the big reduction in the use of disposable plastic bags. As a city we are committed to reducing our reliance on single-use plastic and the switch to the new bins will stop us chucking away hundreds of thousands of plastic sacks every year. Work on a Plastic Reduction Action Plan for Glasgow is now underway but the introduction of street bins is a big step in the right direction in our efforts to stop using plastic so freely.”

So far the new street bins, which have a capacity range of 140 litres to 360 litres, have been introduced in the city centre, Dennistoun, Gorbals, Priesthill/Househillwood, Drumchapel and Govanhill. New recycling bins have also been introduced to the city centre.

Just over 100 residents in Drumchapel, Priesthill/Househillwood, Gorbals and Dennistoun were surveyed about their views on the bins before and after their installation. Previously between 95 and 100% of residents thought the existing provision of street bins was poor or very poor. Following installation the reaction of residents was transformed to between 86% and 100% viewing the bins as good or very good.


Justice for our Veterans

“TERRORISTS are freely walking the streets while the Government shamefully launches “a witch hunt” against heroic Northern Ireland war veterans.”
Suzanne Fernando and fellow veterans took to the city’s Armed Forces Career Office at the same time as a major rally took place across the UK.
The Justice for Northern Ireland Veterans (JFNIV) organised the protests in response to a number of recent prosecutions of former soldiers in relation to incidents during the region’s sectarian conflict.
Along with fellow veterans Suzanne Fernando supported the Justice for Northern Ireland Veterans group, by heading to Glasgow to protest against the launching of criminal investigations into historic alleged crimes committed by soldiers on the front line.  The Glasgow event was led by Veteran Suzanne Fernando, as they stood outside the army careers office on Queen Street, there banners reading “Justice for Northern Ireland veterans” were displayed.

Stop soldier suicide protest, Armed Forces Careers Office, Queen Street, Glasgow.

In an emotional speech delivered in front of the Army Careers Office, RMP Veteran Suzanne Fernando, said: “These actions by the British Government are a disgrace and a betrayal to those of us who served. No British soldier ever went on patrol with the intention of committing a crime, no British soldier ever placed a bomb in a pub full of innocents and no British soldier ever placed a bomb underneath a police car.  Yet the IRA continue to walk free, where is the justice in that?  I spoke with various reporters, photographers, radio and local labour MP Paul Sweeney , about whats happening to our veterans.

Stop soldier suicide protest, Armed Forces Careers Office, Queen Street, Glasgow.

War is a dirty, brutal business, no matter the legal definition you give it, and over nearly 40 years, the troubles in Northern Ireland claimed more than 3,500 lives.  However, of the combatants, for every paramilitary killed two members of the armed forces and security services lost their lives.  And while I mourn the members of our brave forces, I remain unapologetic for the deaths of terrorists, who had criminally taken up arms to force a change the majority in Northern Ireland did not want!  As far as I’m concerned, those who live by the sword, often die by the sword, and that is why it is so disgusting that veterans now face prosecution. But rather than being thanked, veterans today live in fear of a knock at the door to be asked questions about the events of a lifetime ago.  And the odds of being targeted in this post-conflict ‘witch-hunt’ seem to be growing.  I served in the armed forces and I’m appalled some veterans in their 70’s are being arrested and charged with alleged killings in NI during the troubles. This is despite the fact that over 90 per cent of the deaths were carried out by terrorist paramilitaries – why is nobody going after them? We need to bring this nonsense to an end.  During our time in Glasgow we witnessed a great wave of support for our veterans. We’ve got one angle in Northern Ireland getting away with everything but British soldiers being dragged back to the courts. It’s totally wrong.  This is abuse against soldiers who fought in Northern Ireland. There are hundreds of ex-soldiers being investigated. That’s fine, but make sure they investigate the terrorists as well.  The government is wholly committed to finding a lawful, fair, balanced and proportionate way forward for legacy issues in Northern Ireland. We are also very mindful of the fact that some 90 per cent of all deaths in the troubles were caused by terrorists.  Without new bodies to address the legacy of the past, murders by terrorists won’t be investigated any time soon and victims, including families of brave serviceman killed, are less likely to see justice.  Sadly many have suffered with PTSD as a result of serving and took there own lives. Something needs to change NOW”.
One veteran, 75-year-old Dennis Hutchings, was woken up by police in December, who charged him with the attempted murder of an IRA suspect in 1974 while he was serving Queen and country in Armagh.  Many of our Ayrshire veterans served in Northern Ireland, should we be worried too?  Are we going to get woken in the early hours of the morning?
The Good Friday Agreement, signed off by Tony Blair, allowed 500 convicted terrorists linked to the IRA to walk free, something seen as “a grave injustice” by ex-forces personnel who are now watching their own colleagues face prosecution. Veterans claim the vast majority of post-conflict charges relating to Northern Ireland are being made against British soldiers, not former IRA members who already have terrorism offences to their name.

Lord Provost proud to welcome Scotland’s soldiers safely back from operations.

Lord Provost proud to welcome Scotland’s soldiers safely back from operations.  

Glasgow’s Lord Provost, will welcome Scotland’s regiment back to the city on Saturday 6 October at a Homecoming Parade.

The Lord Provost, in her capacity as Lord Lieutenant, will take The Salute as hundreds of soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (formerly the Royal Highland Fusiliers) march past the City Chambers with bayonets fixed, drums beating and colours flying.

They’ll be led by Lieutenant Colonel DC Close, Commanding Officer 2nd Battalion, 2 SCOTS. The parade will begin at Holland Street at 11.30 am and conclude at the City Chambers at noon.

Lord Provost Eva Bolander will be joined on the dias in George Square by General Bob Bruce, Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Scotland (2 SCOTS).

The Lord Provost said: “I’m proud to welcome our brave servicemen and women back to Glasgow and I’m sure our citizens will join me in paying their deepest respects to them, having recently returned from Iraq, South Sudan and Cyprus. I can’t praise them highly enough for their professionalism and courage.”

A civic reception will follow in the City Chambers where the Lord Provost, in her role as Lord Lieutenant will present  Operational Service Medals to: Captain Torrance, Lance Corporal Crawford, Lance Corporal Gonsalves, Fusilier Campbell and Fusilier Donaldson.

Glasgow’s Homecoming Parade is one of three being held in Scotland this week by 2 SCOTS to thank families, friends and well-wishers across the nation for the support they received during their recent tours of Iraq, South Sudan and Cyprus.

They’ll be joined by their regimental mascot, Shetland Pony, Cruachan IV, the Pipes and Drums of the 2nd Battalion and the Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.


Housing First Delivers “Whole New Life” for Long Term Homeless People

Fifty-four long term homeless people in Glasgow have been handed the keys to “a whole new life”.

Thirty-five year-old James Kingsman is one of the first in the city to secure a new home under the Housing First initiative for people with complex needs.

James, who has been homeless on and off since the age of 16, describes his past life as “horrific and hopeless” but after years of chaos and tragedy – he now has a chance of happiness and a settled life in his new flat.

James has spent years in and out of homeless units and hostels. Bereavement has twice caused him to lose homes following the sad deaths of his husband, John, in 2010 and his mum, Dorothy, five years later.

He is a former resident of Glasgow’s Clyde Place homeless unit which shut in August as part of the city’s new approach to homelessness. Settling into a one bedroom flat in a quiet Glasgow community, he describes his new home as his “safe haven”.

Intensive support aims to ensure Housing First tenants get to grips with skills required to run a home, such as liaising with utility companies and paying bills. Glasgow’s Health & Social Care Partnership (GCHSCP) has contracted the Salvation Army to provide support which also covers assistance with accessing health services, further education, training and employment opportunities.

James said: “I’ve been through some pretty horrific stuff in my life, but Housing First has given me a new lease of life. Before I was in limbo, but now I have a fresh start.

My house is better than I could have wished for. It’s in a quiet area near shops and transport and really feels like a home. The support I’m getting is amazing. If I don’t understand a letter or a bill, I can show it to my case worker and they’ll help me sort it out.

“I feel this is the beginning of my new life – a ‘normal’ life whatever that is.”

Just weeks after moving into his new home, James is already working towards a positive future. He has applied to volunteer with the charity which supplied his housing starter pack and is also keen to do a college course on hairdressing or decorating to increase his chances of finding work.

He said: “I want to go to work, come home and enjoy a takeaway or go to the cinema like everyone else.

“Housing First has given me the key to a whole new life. Before, every day was a struggle, but now I’m so happy here.”

Housing First is a rapid rehousing approach to tackling homelessness amongst people with complex needs such as mental health or addiction issues.

It was pioneered in Europe and the US and turns conventional homelessness practice on its head. Previously people were supported to tackle complex needs in a bid to become “tenancy ready”. New thinking concludes that housing should be provided rapidly and be supplemented by intensive support to address wider health issues and tenancy longevity.

Glasgow’s Health & Social Care Partnership is working with partners including the Wheatley Group, the Salvation Army and Social Bite to reduce the length of time people spend in temporary accommodation and provide rapid rehousing via mainstream tenancies as part of the new Housing First approach.


eBikes Get Ready to Go in Glasgow

Glasgow City Council has pledged to match a near-£180,000 funding award from Transport Scotland to help kick start the city’s eBike revolution.

The 180k cash grant from Transport Scotland will ensure that 63 electrically-assisted eBikes can now be introduced into Glasgow as part of the increasingly popular nextbike hire bike scheme.

But to ensure that essential infrastructure is in place to allow eBikes to operate successfully within the city, the council will also commit a further £180,000 to the project. This money will be spent on 83 eBike docking stations that will be installed at 21 of the existing nextbike hire locations already stationed around Glasgow.

When fully charged, an eBike has a range of up to 60miles, which helps to ensure that an eBike does not have to be returned to the same docking station once a journey has been completed.

With the council increasing the range of active travel options available in Glasgow, it’s hoped that eBikes will help to encourage more people to get on a bike as a way to get around the city.

Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, warmly welcomed the forthcoming addition of eBikes to Glasgow’s transport system.

Councillor Richardson said: Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, welcomed the forthcoming addition of eBikes to Glasgow’s transport system.

Councillor Richardson said: “I am absolutely delighted that our bid to bring eBikes to Glasgow has received such strong backing from Transport Scotland.  Glasgow will soon have the biggest fleet of eBikes in the country and this will help to make cycling a much more accessible option for getting about the city.

“Electrically-assisted bikes can provide a welcome boost to those who are building up their fitness, make longer trips by bike more manageable, and introduce cycling to people who may have not considered it an option open to them. eBikes will be great addition to the city’s transport offering and add further fuel to the continued growth of the city’s nextbike scheme.

“The funding to be contributed by the council will play a vital part in successfully delivering eBikes for Glasgow

Julian Scriven, nextbike UK MD, added: “We’re delighted that the council has been awarded funds to introduce e-bikes to the city’s existing scheme. We’ve been in discussions for some time now and the council have always been strong advocates as it improves inclusivity. It’s great that the project will now become a reality.

“E-bikes will make cycling around Glasgow easier and faster than ever before – especially when used to tackle some of the city’s steeper hills. Glasgow is a flagship scheme, so it seems fitting that the city will get our first significant fleet of e-bikes.”

Transport Scotland’s funding scheme was managed on their behalf by the Energy Savings Trust.


Universal Pictures to shoot major feature film in Glasgow city centre later this month

Glasgow is to welcome yet another major film production to the city.

The Universal Pictures production, which will consist of a secondary film unit of 200 crew, will film on a number of city centre streets including George Square and St Vincent Street.

It is anticipated that the production will have a significant impact to the city’s economy.

Information on the production is being given to local residents and businesses.


Councillor David McDonald, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “It is great to see another major film production coming to Glasgow, another example of the confidence the industry has in the city’s ability to host shoots of this size.  The council’s Glasgow Film Office has been working closely with the production to identify locations and making sure the shoot goes smoothly as possible, while minimising the impact on the daily life of the city.  Major productions such as this bring a great boost to the local economy.  Glasgow loves cinema, and it is good to know that we will see the streets of the city shown all over the world when this film is released.”


Yesterday, a Glasgow City Council committee noted a report that the council’s Glasgow Film Office had attracted and assisted film, broadcast and advertising productions that had generated around £300million for the city’s economy since it was established in 1997.


Just some of these productions included the films World War Z, starring Brad Pitt, Fast & Furious 6Outlaw King, starring Chris Pine and the recently-released The Wife, starring Glenn Close, and television productions OutlanderShetland and The Cry.


More information on the Glasgow Film Office is available at: https://www.glasgowfilm.com/index.aspx?articleid=11533.


Council presents findings on Byres Road public realm project consultation

A report to a Glasgow City Council committee outlined the results of a public consultation on the proposals for a major public realm project on Byres Road, to be funded by the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

At the council’s Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm Committee today (2 October) the findings of the consultation were presented, and these findings will help to inform final designs before construction work begins.


City Deal funding has been allocated for the public realm scheme on Byres Road in order to improve place quality and physical connections with the University of Glasgow, and this work will both complement the significant capital investment proposed the by University through its campus redevelopment and support the ongoing economic contribution of Byres Road as a major retail and visitor destination for the city and its visitors.


The initial design proposals for Byres Road were set out in the Byres Road Placemaking Report which was approved by the council in January 2017, and which aimed to create a people-focussed place that enhances the pedestrian experience, promotes social interaction and dwell time, enhances the economic vibrancy of shops and services and improves its cycle-friendliness and environmental performance.


From that point, a number of consultation events, design workshops and in-street shopper surveys have informed the concept design.  Key features of the design included:


  • Widening and upgrading of footways to make pedestrian movement along the street more relaxed and enjoyable and to reduce the width of crossing points;
  • Introduction of step free crossings to give pedestrians priority at junctions with side streets;
  • Enhancing key corners to create distinct and attractive spaces along the street where people can sit and rest;
  • Using greenery to delineate space and provide seasonal interest particularly at street corners;
  • Reducing the speed of traffic through the introduction of a 20mph speed limit;
  • Reducing the width of the carriageway to 6m and removing approximately 50% of on-street car parking spaces to create additional pedestrian and cycling space;
  • Introduction of a one way gyratory system at the southern end of the street to discourage traffic that is using Byres Road as a means of accessing the Clydeside Expressway; and
  • Introduction of 1.5m wide mandatory cycle lanes including a contraflow cycle lane to allow cyclists a continuous route between Great Western Road and Partick Cross.


These concept designs were then published for a public consultation between 23 May – 27 June this year – with 550 responses received – and some of the key findings include:


  • Approximately 60% of respondents agreed that the proposals would increase accessiblity for the elderly, the visually and physically impaired and those pushing prams.
  • Just over half of respondents felt that the proposals would improve the quality of life of local residents.  Those who lived locally were slightly more supportive of the proposals (55% of residents agreed that the proposals would improve amenity compared to just over 20% who disagreed).
  • Just over half of respondents agreed that the proposed design would provide additional civic space for people to rest, socialise and to hold events.
  • Approximately 44% of respondents felt that the design would encourage shoppers to spend more time in the area helping businesses and the economy.  In comparison 32% disagreed.
  • Just under half of participants (46%) agreed that proposals would encourage a growth in those travelling to the street by foot or bike however a similar number (44%) disagreed.
  • Respondents were split on the issue of pollution – approximately 40% felt that the proposals would result in an improvement in air quality while a similar proportion disagreed.
  • Approximately 90% of all respondents recognised that the scheme went some way to delivering the vision set out within the Byres Road Placemaking Plan.
  • The consultation responses highlighted the quality of cycle infrastructure and reduction in traffic volumes as areas that required further consideration.   In comparison there was significant support for measures to improve the quality of footways and the wider pedestrian environment – this reflects the fact that all shoppers, regardless of whether they arrive by car, bus, bike or train, ultimately end up as pedestrians.

Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction at Glasgow City Council, said: “Byres Road is a key destination in Glasgow, valued by residents and visitors alike for its mix of shops, restaurants and cafes, as well as being a place of work or study.  This project offers an opportunity to improve the street for everyone who uses it, and enhance its attractiveness to businesses along it. By taking into account the findings of the public consultation, we will be able to create a Byres Road that meets the economic, social and environmental needs of everyone with a stake in it.”

Council officers have reviewed the consultation findings and are now considering measures that could be introduced in order to improve the proposed cycle infrastructure and reduce traffic volumes while maintaining the quality of the pedestrian environment which was identified as a strength of the existing proposals.  The introduction of design changes will be influenced by further engagement with key stakeholders and completion of additional traffic modelling that will test a number of scenarios that aim to reduce traffic volumes.  As a result of this additional consultation and design work, the project is now estimated to begin on site in late 2019.


The public realm work on Byres Road forms part of the wider Clyde Waterfront and West End Innovation Quarter project for the Glasgow City Region City Deal, aiming to regenerate the river corridor as an attractive urban quarter that attracts jobs and investment and makes a significant contribution to regional economic growth.