Glasgow City Council has today (1 November) approved a new High Street Area Strategy (HSAS), seeking to breathe new life into the historic heart of the city around the High Street and Saltmarket.
Following a public consultation earlier this year, with the council hearing about the priorities of local residents, businesses and other organisations, plans will now be put into action to better promote the area's rich history and built heritage, support small businesses and the local economy, and enhance public realm.
The area is home to around 6,000 people and features a host of attractions such as the Barras, Glasgow Cathedral, Glasgow Green, the Necropolis, Provand's Lordship, the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art, the Tollbooth Steeple, and key locations on the Glasgow City Centre Mural Trail, as well as independent shops and traders, artists' studios, bars, restaurants, the Glasgow City Innovation District and the Tontine centre of innovation.
The strategy will be overseen by a cross-party body, the High Street Reference Group, comprising all the councillors representing the wards covering the area.
The strategy, which will run from 2019 - 2023, contains a range of ambitious plans to support the area's revitalisation. Key actions in the HSAS include:
Working with partner agencies to promote the preservation of built heritage;
Establishing a Heritage Trail to link the area's visitor attractions and highlight historical points of interest;
Introducing a new "Meanwhile Space" initiative to bring vacant shop units into positive use;
Expanding the "Independent Retail Fund" to support shopfront improvements;
Exploring more opportunities for quality public space and active travel.
In response to concerns raised by local traders during the consultation process, City Property will also implement a moratorium on rent increases for its tenants in the upper High Street and Saltmarket areas, as well as improving its tenant engagement with local businesses.
Councillor Angus Millar, Depute City Convener for Economic Growth at Glasgow City Council and Chair of the High Street Reference Group, said: "The High Street Area Strategy will guide the long-overdue regeneration of Glasgow's historic heart, making a clear commitment to the area's future with a range of initiatives to take the High Street forward. The strong level of engagement from the public in our consultation earlier this year underlines the importance of the High Street to so many Glaswegians. By doing more to promote the area's rich heritage and support the local economy, we can help make the High Street area the vibrant, celebrated district of the city it deserves to be. I look forward to working over the coming years with local residents, businesses and council partners in delivering the city's ambitious plans for this important quarter of Glasgow."
The High Street Area Strategy can be found online here: http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=43009&p=0.