The Glasgow City Region City Deal Cabinet today (12 December) approved £15.6million of funding towards the preparation of the full business case for the £115.5million City Centre Infrastructure project.
This is a key project for both the city and the wider city-region as Glasgow is the UK's second most important centre in both retail and finance (behind London's West End and the City) with over 150,000 jobs and more than 40,000 students. The city centre also attracts 100,000 commuters every weekday, has a population of 28,000 and generates over a third of Glasgow's economic activity.
Glasgow City Council's City Centre Strategy aims to ensure the area retains this prominent position - vital to its economic growth - by promoting opportunities for growth and investment, and this Glasgow City Region City Deal project will deliver enabling infrastructure to capitalise on these opportunities.
The infrastructure that will be delivered and improved includes work to improve the public realm at Argyle Street (East and West); Cathedral Street; George Street; Central Station; King Street; North Hanover Street; Sauchiehall Street; and West Nile Street, including the resurfacing of streets and pavements; 'smart' infrastructure such as surface water management systems and adaptable lighting systems; the creation of avenues of trees; segregated cycle lanes; underground facilities and reductions in vehicle traffic.
Councillor Frank McAveety, Chair of the Glasgow City Region City Deal Cabinet, said: "Glasgow city centre is the number one area of economic activity not only in Glasgow, but in the wider city region and indeed Scotland, so its future development is hugely important. Through this investment in developing the infrastructure of the city centre, this project will help to deliver the strategy for the area by improving connectivity to and between city centre districts, supporting development and economic growth, and improving and protecting the built environment."
Since its first meeting in August 2015, the Glasgow City Region City Deal Cabinet has approved almost £166million of funding towards projects within the total value of £1.13billion.
The City Deal will bring tens of thousands of jobs to the Glasgow city region over the next few decades through 20 major infrastructure projects; drive innovation and growth through the support of key sectors such as life sciences; and address challenges in the region's labour market.
Both the UK and Scottish Governments will give the Glasgow and Clyde Valley local authorities £500million each in grant funding for the City Deal, and the local authorities will borrow a further £130million to use for capital investment.
The City Deal is expected to give the Glasgow city region a permanent uplift in its GVA of £2.2billion per annum (4.4%); generate 15,000 construction jobs during the construction period and 28,000 permanent additional jobs once construction is complete; and will unlock £3.3billion of private sector investment.
The eight local authorities participating in the Glasgow City Region City Deal are: East Dunbartonshire Council; East Renfrewshire Council; Glasgow City Council; Inverclyde Council; North Lanarkshire Council; Renfrewshire Council; South Lanarkshire Council and West Dunbartonshire Council.