THIS is how George Square will look when Glasgow hosts the Commonwealth Games next year.

The city council has revealed an artist's impression of what will greet the thousands of visitors to the city in 2014.

It has been unveiled just weeks after council leader Gordon Matheson rejected plans for a £15 million major redesign of the area, claiming the public were not in favour.

Instead, councillors will be asked on Thursday to agree minor improvements, costing around £500,000, which will be carried out in time for the sporting extravaganza.

The major elements of the council's planned upgrade will be carried out once the Games are over.

Phase one of the work will involve the unpopular red surface being replaced with hard wearing grey resin.

Two new grass beds, designed to sit flush with the new surface, will be created on the west side of the square.

Council bosses say that will mean there will be no need to cut the number of people who attend civic events in the area.

Feature lighting will be introduced for the 11 statues and the Cenotaph, which will all be cleaned, and all the commemorative benches will remain in situ.

Once the Games are over, the new grey surface will be lifted and possibly replaced with granite paving.

Permanent and temporary landscaping solutions will be explored and there will be a review of above-ground and underground services and utilities as well as lighting and columns to carry banners.

A full programme of conservation for the statues and monuments will be carried out and experts will look at ways of "significantly" reducing traffic in the area.

Richard Brown, executive director of development and regeneration, said the public will be consulted on the final treatment and colour of the square.

The cost of both phases of the work is expected to be around £15m.

Mr Brown said: "Glasgow has a fantastic opportunity to present itself to the world during 2014 and this should be maximised during the Commonwealth Games.

"The time available between now and the Games would present significant risk when excavating and levelling the square, which would be required for upgrading the underground services and utilities.

"The full redevelopment of George Square needs to resolve some engineering issues relating to the approximately 1.4m change in level between the north and south of the square. This must be integrated with any new traffic plan."

Mr Matheson said: "The people of Glasgow were very vocal throughout the design competition that they did not want a radical redesign of the square.

"They wanted the statues to remain, the grass to stay and the red Tarmac to go. We listened to their views and have responded.

"Work will begin on phase one of the redeveloped square in July and is scheduled to run until September.

"The two grass beds on the western side of the square will be returned, ensuring a greener square at the heart of our city."