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Design contract process for George Square and surrounding Avenues to begin

Glasgow City Council is about to begin the process of inviting submissions for a design tender for Block C of the city centre Avenues programme – funded by the Glasgow City Region City Deal.  Block C is an area covering George Square, George Street, Hanover Street, John Street, Miller Street, Dundas Street and Dundas Lane in Glasgow city centre.

The pre-qualification process has now started, with shortlisted teams to be announced in November, and the publication of the full tender shortly after.  It is expected that the approval of a selected design team will go to committee in January / February 2021, with the design team appointed in March 2021.

The redesign of George Square will require to take into account Glasgow’s hosting of major events in the coming years, such as the UEFA European Championships, COP 26 and the UCI Cycling World Championships, with construction work beginning shortly after the latter in the summer of 2023.

Alongside the development of a new design for George Square, Glasgow’s principal civic space, the George Square Area Strategy project will include the George Street and St Vincent Street Avenues and a new pedestrian link from Queen Street Station down to the Clyde, passing through the square, Hanover Street and Miller Street.

Prospective design teams will need to demonstrate an awareness of, and skill in, reinterpreting the history of significant urban places and creating places fit for a confident 21st Century city.

The project will also look to develop a sustainable connection between George Square and Queen Street Station, delivering the necessary accessibility and servicing requirements with appropriate public transport and active travel facilities and infrastructure.  The scope of works for the project will be established as the design process progresses, with detail to be developed through a further process of analysis and public engagement with a wide variety of key stakeholder groups.

During the work ahead, attention will be paid to the servicing of the neighbourhoods’ shops, businesses, residential developments, refuse collection facilities, and so on, with local access for residents being maintained.

In addition, the delivery of the George Square Area Strategy project will be monitored by a cross-party group which will review the project as it develops.

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The transformation of George Square is already underway and this project will help to redefine it as Glasgow’s principal public space and gathering place.  It will make active travel and public transport more appealing, improve air quality and the local environment, and make this city neighbourhood not only more resilient and sustainable, but a more attractive place in which to live, work and visit.  Selecting a design team for George Square and the surrounding Avenues and streets is an important milestone for the City and a key part of this project.  The design can reflect the changes to the area that public engagement has told us what the people of Glasgow want, and ensure that it can take the opportunities – and meet the economic and environmental challenges – ahead of us, including an awareness of our history as a city and our identity.”

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson said: “This is another significant milestone for Glasgow as it prepares to host a number of major events in the years ahead, and it’s encouraging that the views of local people will help shape how this central space will look.  Our investment through the City Region and Growth Deals is a crucial part of our economic recovery from coronavirus (COVID-19) as we work towards a fairer, greener and more inclusive Scotland. It will also ensure that we maximise the benefits of our investment in the years to come, creating jobs and significant inclusive growth across the region.”

UK Government Minister for Scotland Iain Stewart said:  “The Avenues programme is essential for preserving the unique vitality and appeal of Glasgow city centre, so I am pleased that the next phase of these transformative works is getting underway.  The UK Government is investing £523 million into the Glasgow City Region Deal to create jobs and opportunities, and more than £1.5 billion into deals across Scotland to secure the future of our economy.”

The £115million Avenues programme in Glasgow City Centre is a Glasgow City Region City Deal project, funded by the Scottish and UK Governments.

For more information on the Glasgow City Region City Deal Avenues programme, please visit: https://www.glasgowcitycentrestrategy.com/project/city-centre-avenues.

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