Gordon Matheson: the Glasgow City Council leader writes exclusively

LAST Thursday, the council unanimously approved Glasgow's bid to host the Youth Olympics in 2018.

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An event the size and scale of the Commonwealth Games, the Youth Olympics provides the city with another opportunity to inspire a generation.

The London Olympics and Paralympics have been a major success, showcasing the world's finest athletes and generating a feelgood factor which we took into last Friday's parade of Team GB athletes through the city.

Glasgow gave our Olympic heroes a wonderful reception, and I have never felt prouder of the city.

The Youth Olympics allows us to build on this.

Supported by the British Olympic Association and politicians from the Prime Minister down to the Scottish Government, this is a hugely ambitious bid.

However, the most exciting part of this is that we have an opportunity to speed up what will be a generational change for Sighthill.

Sighthill has been revealed as the preferred site for the Athletes' Village if the city secures the Games.

However, because of the short timeframe of the bid process, work to transform the community will need to start before the host city is announced.

The transformation of the area will go ahead up to 20 years earlier than planned, regardless of whether the city wins the bid.

The bid gives us the impetus to work with the local community and our partners – and to lever in private money – to rebuild Sighthill as a popular and vibrant community.

The regeneration of the area was always a priority but the bid means it can now happen much faster.

The transformation will bring hundreds of new homes, a new school campus, community facilities and better links for pedestrians to the city centre.

It will also create jobs and apprenticeship places, and help unlock the development potential of other areas to the north of the city centre.

However, it is vitally important that we ensure that everyone who lives in Sighthill is given time to consider options that meet their preferences and needs.

GHA is already beginning to meet individually with residents to discuss this.

As a result of Glasgow just bidding for the Games, people's lives will be transformed.

You'd struggle to find a bid anywhere in the world that delivers a legacy like that.

LAST week, I spoke at a conference in the city in favour of supported employment.

Glasgow has a proud record of supporting those with disabilities into employment, and nowhere is this more obvious than at Royal Strathclyde Blindcraft Industries, our employment facility for the partially sighted.

Initially a sheltered workshop primarily manufacturing beds, it is now a thriving business.

Given the problems other cities have had with supported employment, and the recent decision by the UK Government to close Remploy factories around the country, I am immensely proud of Glasgow's work in this regard.

Careers and Jobs

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