Glasgow's George Square revamp proves a talking point

THE people of Glasgow and west of Scotland today voiced their opinions on the stunning plans to revamp George Square.

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  • A new shortlisted design of how George Square could look after the revamp
    A new shortlisted design of how George Square could look after the revamp

Last night, the Evening Times revealed the six designs shortlisted for a £15million development of the famous area.

Some of the designs keep the Square's historic statues, and range from wooded areas to contemporary water features.

The images are now on display in the Lighthouse, in Mitchell Lane, and the winner will be announced on January 18.

The judging panel will be made up of David Mackay, a partner of Barcelona-based MBA Architects; Professor Andy McMillan, former head of the Mackintosh School of Architecture at Glasgow School of Art; David Harding, former head of environmental art at Glasgow School of Art; Geoff Ellis, director of DF Concerts; and council leader Gordon Matheson.

Work on the Square is expected to start within weeks, with the first phase ready in time for the Commonwealth Games next year.

All 12 statues, including the 78ft monument to Sir Walter Scott in the centre of the Square, will be taken down and their plinths removed.

They will be restored before being moved to their new locations. The issue on whether to keep the statues or not has divided opinion.

The winner will be announced on January 18.

ALISTAIR MILLER, 68, retired, Kilmacolm:

"Some of the designs are too modern.

"I would prefer more greenery and trees around the Square like it used to be."

BOB KING, 70, building supervisor, Croftfoot:

"I like some of the futuristic designs.

"I work in nearby Merchants House so it would be nice, like looking over to Rome."

KELLIE BRACEGIRDLE, 41, works at Strathclyde University, Robroyston:

"I like some of the ideas with water features.

"They should move the statues if they have to but if they can be incorporated, all the better."

TOM PROVAN, 68, retired, Bishopbriggs:

"I like the way it is at the moment.

"It looks beautiful and I don't want it to be changed."

ELIZABETH KELLY, 75, retired school teacher, Bearsden:

"For me, the Square needs a central, focal point.

"The statues are part of our history and should be kept."

LINDSAY MACKENZIE, 29, data co-ordinator, Easterhouse:

"I would be fine with the statues moving.

"It would be nice to have some greenery in there too."

EVELYN CLISHAM, 49, nurse, Gourock:

"I think it should be trees and tradition; the statues are part of that.

"I hate to see new-builds all the time, it would just make it look like anywhere else."

AMY MACKINNON, 19, TV student at City of Glasgow College, Alexandria:

"Having a modern design for the Square would be great.

"It would provide a wonderful contrast."

ANDREW MAY, 19, chef, Broomhill:

"A modern look would be good, so the Square stands out from the more traditional buildings looking on to it."

CONNOR JARVIS, 21, student, Stepps:

"It would be good to have some trees and not be too contemporary."

THE people of Glasgow and west of Scotland today voiced their opinions on the stunning plans to revamp George Square.

Last night, the Evening Times revealed the six designs shortlisted for a £15million development of the famous area.

Some of the designs keep the Square's historic statues, and range from wooded areas to contemporary water features.

The images are now on display in the Lighthouse, in Mitchell Lane, and the winner will be announced on January 18.

The judging panel will be made up of David Mackay, a partner of Barcelona-based MBA Architects; Professor Andy McMillan, former head of the Mackintosh School of Architecture at Glasgow School of Art; David Harding, former head of environmental art at Glasgow School of Art; Geoff Ellis, director of DF Concerts; and council leader Gordon Matheson.

Work on the Square is expected to start within weeks, with the first phase ready in time for the Commonwealth Games next year.

All 12 statues, including the 78ft monument to Sir Walter Scott in the centre of the Square, will be taken down and their plinths removed.

They will be restored before being moved to their new locations. The issue on whether to keep the statues or not has divided opinion.

A petition signed by almost 1000 people has demanded a public meeting be held to explain the plans.

The Save Our Statues, Save Our Square group is unhappy at the speed at which the revamp plans are being driven forward.

Linda Mawson, one of the founders of the group, said: "There are concerns about the desecration of the Square and that the statues will disappear and never be seen again.

"The group knows the red Tarmac has to go because it is horrible, but we want the area restored as a place where people can sit and reflect."

The unveiling of the six proposals has fuelled great interest in the project and hundreds of people visited The Lighthouse to view the designs.

Bosses of the design centre said it was "very, very busy".

Council leader Gordon Matheson, meanwhile, has been urged to hold a city-wide referendum on the plan.

SNP business manager David McDonald has written to Mr matheson pointing out the plans represent a dramatic change to the area.

But he said he was worried the limited display of the six shortlisted designs would mean not all Glaswegians will see them or have a chance to make their views known.

Mr McDonald suggested the plans should be made available in libraries and that details should be available online.

The winner will be announced on January 18.

WHAT YOU THINK OF THE PLANS

ALISTAIR MILLER, 68, retired, Kilmacolm:

"Some of the designs are too modern.

"I would prefer more greenery and trees around the Square like it used to be."

BOB KING, 70, building supervisor, Croftfoot:

"I like some of the futuristic designs.

"I work in nearby Merchants House so it would be nice, like looking over to Rome."

KELLIE BRACEGIRDLE, 41, works at Strathclyde University, Robroyston:

"I like some of the ideas with water features.

"They should move the statues if they have to but if they can be incorporated, all the better."

TOM PROVAN, 68, retired, Bishopbriggs:

"I like the way it is at the moment.

"It looks beautiful and I don't want it to be changed."

ELIZABETH KELLY, 75, retired school teacher, Bearsden:

"For me, the Square needs a central, focal point.

"The statues are part of our history and should be kept."

LINDSAY MACKENZIE, 29, data co-ordinator, Easterhouse:

"I would be fine with the statues moving.

"It would be nice to have some greenery in there too."

EVELYN CLISHAM, 49, nurse, Gourock:

"I think it should be trees and tradition; the statues are part of that.

"I hate to see new-builds all the time, it would just make it look like anywhere else."

AMY MACKINNON, 19, TV student at City of Glasgow College, Alexandria:

"Having a modern design for the Square would be great.

"It would provide a wonderful contrast."

ANDREW MAY, 19, chef, Broomhill:

"A modern look would be good, so the Square stands out from the more traditional buildings looking on to it."

CONNOR JARVIS, 21, student, Stepps:

"It would be good to have some trees and not be too contemporary."

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