IT'S only a modest ambition... to become a premier destination in Glasgow sought out by residents and visitors alike.

But looking at the success of SWG3 so far, it becomes clear that anything is possible.

In a sort of no-man's land - not quite Finnieston, not quite the Clyde-side and sitting in that gap between the West End and the river - SWG3 was the brainchild of Andrew Fleming-Brown (known as Mutley) who wanted to support fellow artists by providing studio space.

In 2004 he chanced on a deserted warehouse on Eastvale Place and decided to transform it into something akin to MoMA PS1 in New York or Lisbon's LX factory, contemporary art spaces based in former warehouses.

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Despite being around for 15 years, it's in the past eight or nine years - since Mutley arranged funds to buy the building - that it began to be known outside the arts community.

And since then, the project has grown in a manner its owner once laughed at.

He said: "I remember years ago giving a presentation and I made the plans for SWG3 really ambitious, almost as a bit of a laugh, showing the whole of the area that we now take up.

"It's funny that at one point we were joking about it and now here we are."

Some of the recent success of SWG3, once a tobacco bond built by the Anchor Line, has been accelerated by the misfortune of other much-loved Glasgow venues. Although Mutley is at pains to point out that there was limited similarity between the Arches and SWG3, the demise of the Argyle Street venue left an audience looking for a new place to go.

More important, says Mutley, has been the gutting of Sauchiehall Street's ABC. Artists planning to perform at the famous city centre music venue have had to look elsewhere since 2018's fire, and they've found SWG3.

Thanks to that demand, the section of the venue called The Galvanizers, based in what was a cooperage, has thrived with a new backstage area developed to accommodate performers.

Mutley said: "The event spaces and programme has grown significantly in the past five years because of the opportunity that has arisen with with the tragic circumstances in the city, the loss of other venues.

"The ABC for us, has meant a lot of that live music programme has transferred into The Galvanizers. We didn't anticipate The Galvanizers as being an out and out music venue but when you lose such an important venue in a city, that has to go somewhere.

"We've invested heavily in it in the last 12 months to make that work. It's definitely been a strange little journey."

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Mutley, a Gray's School of Art graduate, is, though, hopeful for the future of the former Art Deco cinema. He added: "I loved the ABC and I'm sure the ABC will come back in some form sooner or later."

The Galvanizers is one of the newer parts of what has recently been dubbed Glasgow's Favourite Business at the 2019 Glasgow Business Awards, an event organised annually by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce. The eventual ambition, says Mutley, is to have something for everyone at the venue where there is retail, food, art and music already.

He said: "We were ambitious from day one, without a doubt.

"SWG3 has moved through so many different phases of where it started - artists studios and space - to where it developed to, an events business and facility.

"At the same time, we've been acquiring land so it's also become almost a regeneration project as well.

"Our plans are to expand that and we've got a live planning application at the moment. which includes some more workspace and a garden out the back.

"We want to make this very much a cultural hub, not one that only drives night time economy but also the day time economy."

SWG3 now has 20 full time staff and 80 on the payroll, which Mutley jokingly says he works out from counting how many invites there are to the staff Christmas dinner.

Another benefit for the business has been the flourishing of Finnieston, an area of the city he says could set an example to other parts of Glasgow.

The 42-year-old said: "What's happened in Finnieston was phenomenal. There was no strategy. That happened because one or two really good operators went in and started to bring a great product and people into that part of the city.

"It's become a world renowned little neighbourhood, as we know.

"There's some parts of the city that are unfortunately struggling, the city centre needs attention but it's a difficult one to do because Finnieston didn't happen because people focused on it or had a plan.

"It worked because the right people moved in and did the right thing. And I'm afraid that's how these things happen.

"That kind of vibrancy can't just be manufactured so I don't know if that could be easily translated to other parts of the city that maybe need a bit of that magic dust that's up the top of the road."

The warehouse setting is an important part of the magic of SWG3, because: "There's already an atmosphere created in these buildings that you can't recreate."

Being a firm part of the local community has also been vital to the success of SWG3 and its management has worked closely with other local businesses and Yorkhill & Kelvingrove Community Council.

Mutley says there are still big ambitions for ensuring SWG3 really does have something for everyone. Eventually he would like it to be somewhere that people can come and spend hours eating, shopping with niche retailers, spending time in the garden that is in development or looking at the graffiti walls.

"We'd like to be a place where everyone seeks out in the city, whether you're a resident or a visitor to the city, to have it on the top of your radar as a place to come," Mutley says.

"We're hopefully creating a really iconic placemaking part of the city.

"I guess we're really trying to put this what was a little dead end street that no one really knew about before right at the heart of the cultural map."