GLASGOW has another first-class sporting venue - the newly-upgraded towpaths of the Forth & Clyde Canal.

Work has been completed on a £435,000 project to upgrade the 3.5km stretch between Knightswood and Kelvindale for cyclists and walkers.

The towpaths have seen a 300% increase in usage in the last eight years.

The work is part of a wider £1.3 million project to improve the walkways and was carried out by Scottish Canals and partners Sustrans and Glasgow City Council.

Richard Millar, Director of Heritage, Enterprise & Sustainability at Scottish Canals, said: "The towpaths of Scotland's canals are busier than ever and play a vital role in the communities they run through.

"They're increasingly significant destinations for leisure, exercise and commuting and this project opens up access to them by providing a safe, all-weather surface everyone can use and enjoy. "

"Scotland's canals already attract more than 22 million visits a year and I am sure that the improved access offered by these upgraded paths will see even more people enjoy the heritage, wildlife and green space offered by Glasgow's canal."

Liz Cameron, Executive Member for Jobs and the Economy at Glasgow City Council, said: "A great deal of work has happened throughout Glasgow's canal network already. All the regeneration along Glasgow's canal network is helping to revitalise and renew communities across our city and indeed creating new canalside neighbourhoods."

The towpaths of Scotland's canals also form a key part of the Sustrans National Cycle Network and connect to more than 400 kilometres of pathways.

Members of social enterprise Lambhill Stables' cycling group are regular users.

Claudio Pia, of Lambhill Active, who runs the group, said: "Lambhill Active is a brilliant resource for kids and adults to get fit and enjoy the great outdoors using the Forth & Clyde Canal.

"The towpath provides a unique opportunity for local people to enjoy the natural beauty of Glasgow right on their doorstep and is a safe and easy way to travel without having to worry about the daily hustle and bustle of busy roads."