FOR the last thirty years shopping has been at the heart of Glasgow's economy.
So Glasgow's leaders are right to worry about the future of the retail trade. After all, by its very nature this city is more exposed to the downturn in retail spending than any other in Scotland.
The council – some may think paradoxically – believes the way to fix retail decline is to encourage more and, crucially, better shops.
Now city bosses are willing to put our money where their mouths are, by borrowing public cash to help Buchanan Galleries double in size.
And yesterday, that controversial strategy was endorsed by the Scottish Government. Holyrood's blessing means tens of millions will now be spent on new infrastructure – including a boost for shabby Queen Street Station – and public realm works.
We have long argued that, while any investment and expansion is welcome, it must not be introduced to the detriment of other parts of the city's retail sector.
And so, even more welcome is the robust action plan ministers have ordered the council to put in place for other shopping areas, such as Sauchiehall Street which could suffer as the Galleries' expand.
Government officials will also insist that the bigger Buchanan Galleries tries to lure retailers not currently on our high streets.
These are thoroughly sensible precautions that the council itself should have considered sooner.