A RENT freeze has been announced for arts venues at Trongate 103 which are under threat due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Organisations using the building had claimed planned rent hikes by landlord City Property, which is owned by the council, risked putting them out of business.

Green Party councillor Christy Mearns asked councillor Angus Millar, the City Property chairman, whether rent increases could be waived “in light of the devastating impact” they would have on Glasgow’s art and culture.

At a Glasgow City Council meeting, she said the sector had already been “severely impacted” by Covid-19.

Trongate 103 is home to galleries, workshops, artists’ studios and production spaces, creating art across a range of genres.

Mr Millar said: “I’m pleased to confirm that officers have taken the decision to pause the review.”

He added City Property “will not progress with rent increases at this time”.

“This is the right decision for tenants in Trongate 103 and one that I’m happy to support.

“The longstanding issues around Trongate 103 will require a solution and no solution to it will be easy.

“There will come a time when the process of reviewing arrangements will be required to recommence.

“However, this will only be following future assessment of the impact of Covid-19 by City Property.”

Mr Millar said City Property will re-engage with tenants “when this situation changes”.

Ms Mearns said: “The tenants of Trongate 103, like arts and cultural organisations across the city, have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m delighted City Property has listened to my calls for a rent freeze, for these businesses and others, and I hope they will continue to look at what more they can do assist businesses and communities throughout the city who have been hit badly by Covid-19.”

She asked whether rent increases for “other businesses in the city centre and beyond will also be paused while Covid-19 remains an issue”.

Mr Millar said City Property was examining the impact of Covid-19 and lockdown on tenants and had offered a package of rental support including deferments and reductions.

“We will continue to review the impact there and how we can continue to support tenants going forward,” he added.