We welcome the announcement from the Scottish Government which gives approval to Glasgow City Council's application to use Tax Increment Financing (TIF) in support of the expansion of Buchanan Galleries by the Buchanan Partnership.
Glasgow Chamber of Commerce acknowledges that this is a project that is not without controversy, recognising that it reflects the experimental role of TIFs and the likely impact of such a large investment on a substantial stretch of the city centre.
The Buchanan Galleries TIF has obvious parallels with the city's International Financial Services District (IFSD), in which fresh office buildings on the Broomielaw were built by the private sector.
These shiny new blocks - which are highly relevant to the demands of companies both local and national with big floorplates, appropriate telecoms and all the other pre-requisites of a modern office - have played their role in attracting inward investment that has brought 15,000 new jobs to the city.
Notably the IFSD was supported by public sector investment, and left us with older central business district offices that we need to recycle as they no longer fit demands.
We're supporting the TIF announcement firstly because we believe that it helps to keep the Glasgow retail offer, which we're pleased to say is still number two in the UK after London's West End, fresh and modern alongside the marvellous new investment at the St Enoch Centre.
Secondly it is a very significant private investment - over £350m of private investment with the accompanying construction and jobs. There is precious little of these in the current circumstances , and this is a significant long-term vote of confidence in Glasgow's city centre.
Thirdly, the TIF component will allow funding to be released by the Council to invest in the continued upgrading of Glasgow's public realm.
We have seen the positive effects of the high-quality public realm investment in the Merchant City and the IFSD, and the TIF means that we are now in a position to realise more of these.
We will have substantial investment in the area of Queen Street Station - and it's worth noting how poor the entrances into the city are from that station, and the repaired bridge at Cathedral Street that will allow it to re-open to traffic allowing options for reducing traffic in George Square, allowing the Square's refurbishment and improvement as a civic space to meet the requirements of both residents and overseas visitors.
Clearly there are conditions that the Scottish Government has placed on this announcement, largely related to displacement and the impact that this will have on other part of the city centre retail offer.
We will happily work with the Government and the City Council to ensure ongoing development of the strategy for the city centre, designing and delivering the heart of Glasgow for the future.
We will actively participate in developing that strategy, helping businesses - many of whom will have investments that could be affected by the TIF plans - to make their views known.
But the bottom line is that the Buchanan Galleries TIF is a major jobs generator and this announcement reinforces the long-term role of the regional centre for retail for decades to come.