04 Jul 2018
A task force set up to help Glasgow businesses affected by the two major fires on Sauchiehall Street has announced a string of actions following its inaugural meeting earlier this week (Monday).
The Sauchiehall Street Task Force, which comprises the local Business Improvement District, Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, is helping to co-ordinate support for the many businesses affected by the fire which gutted the historic Glasgow School of Art building and an earlier blaze which destroyed Victoria’s nightclub in March.
Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: “The impact upon businesses from these two major incidents has been huge. Even though parts of the street are trading as normal, many shops, restaurants and bars have been forced to close temporarily due to vital restrictions within the safety cordon and others have seen their footfall reduced dramatically.
“It’s hard to underestimate the negative effect this has had on many businesses locally, but the task force is determined to do all it can to alleviate the effects on traders in one of Glasgow’s most important and best-known thoroughfares.
“The City Council has been working extremely hard to deal with what is one of the biggest challenges to face the city in recent years. The Victoria’s fire was bad enough, but to have that compounded with the blaze at “The Mac” is simply heartbreaking.
“The sheer scale of the task is enormous, but, having spoken on a daily basis to various Council Departments, it’s clear that they are doing everything humanly possible to mitigate the worst impact on local businesses and residents.
“The fact that Sauchiehall Street had already embarked upon multimillion pound transformation, with major landscaping, pedestrianization, transport improvements and the creation of a Business Improvement District, underlines its importance to the city.
“To see the impact of these two fires on local businesses and residents has been very sobering and, whilst no-one is underestimating the sheer scale of the challenge before us, the Task Force has outlined a number of key priorities to try to minimize the negative impact as much as possible.
“While this work is underway, we encourage the public to continue their support for the traders who have remained open, still choosing to visit Sauchiehall Street and its offering for retail, leisure or entertainment.”
A full list of the actions agreed at this week’s meeting will be communicated via the Chamber’s website, the BID Facebook page, through on-street ambassadors and on a local traders’ WhatsApp Group, as well as on the main Glasgow City Council website.
Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The Sauchiehall Street Task Force will do everything in its power to restore Sauchiehall Street to its traditional position as one of the city’s leading destinations for those shopping, eating or drinking out, and going clubbing or to a concert or the theatre.
“The council will work with our partners on the taskforce and all those affected by these tragic fires to ensure that action is taken to make Sauchiehall Street the fantastic city centre location that it should be. The current City Deal investment to create the Sauchiehall Avenue is an example of the type of project that will make the street a desirable place in which to live, work, study, visit and invest in. We have great confidence in the future of Sauchiehall Street.”