A PLANNED £15million upgrade of George Square has been put on hold indefinitely.

In 2012, city council leader Gordon Matheson launched a design competition to give the historic heart of the city a new look.

It attracted entries from some of the best architects in the world, a shortlist was drawn up and a winner announced.

But within minutes of the announcement, Mr Matheson said the facelift plan had been scrapped as it did not have the backing of the public.

Instead, he said the square would get a makeover in time for the Commonweath Games in 2014 and promised the £15m upgrade would be carried out once the sporting event left town.

In July 2013, the Evening Times was told a report would go before councillors within weeks suggesting the permanent improvements which should be made.

And council bosses vowed the public would be asked their views about any planned improvements.

Two years later the hated red surface of George Square has been removed and replaced with grey, two grass beds reinstated, the statues cleaned and new lighting installed.

But there are still no plans for the major upgrade so there is nothing on which the public can be consulted.

When asked about the delay a city council spokesman said it is due to major work which is to be carried out to improve Queen Street Station.

The £110million project will accommodate the longer platforms needed to take nine-carriage trains between Glasgow and Edinburgh, under the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme.

The new plan involves the demolition of the Consort House office on the corner of Dundas Street and West George Street, occupied by SPT and a Sainsbury's local store.

Work on extending the platforms and building a new frontage onto George Square is not expected to be completed until 2019.

Recently Land Securities, the developer behind a £400m extension to Buchanan Galleries announced the start of work has been put on hold because of the Queen Street project.

Under a complicated finance deal, the extension will release £80m of business rates, part of which the council planned to use to fund the George Square work.

A council spokesman: “We had intended to come back to committee with a report, but this was delayed because we had to take into account a substantial amount of other development work taking place in the city centre.

“The funding for George Square work is linked to the Buchanan Galleries tax increment finance scheme and is there now a delay to that project.

“However, we still plan to bring proposals to councillors as soon as practicably possible. . This will include details of the public consultation that we will carry out on the final surface treatment and colour.”