A FIVE-year initiative to turn Sauchiehall Street into a premier entertainment zone has been deemed successful by business owners who campaigned to transform the area.

Members of the Business Improvement District (BID) have informed Glasgow City Council that it would not be seeking a re-ballot for a second term because the BID had “run its course”.

With widened pavements, new street lighting and planted trees, those who took part in the project have not ruled out the option to expand and create a new bigger programme involving more businesses.

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Brian Fulton, co-director and co-owner of the Garage nightclub and chair of the Sauchiehall Street Avenue Project, said: “In 2013 Sauchiehall Street didn’t look great and the Glasgow School of Art fire caused problems for businesses. Just before the pandemic it was looking better.

“It is a really good street to walk through and I think it will get better. This is a good outcome for the BID which we feel has run its course.

“There is potential to take part in another BID. I hope it would be better and bigger and include other areas and venues like the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the Glasgow Film Theatre and the Kings Theatre.”

The BID overlapped with the council’s Avenue’s Project which aims to make the city more people friendly.

Mr Fulton added: “We appreciate the support of the council, who developed the Avenues Project, and the Chamber of Commerce who have helped make this possible.

“We told the council we needed Sauchiehall Street to be updated, fresher, brighter and more appealing for new businesses. That was then taken under review.”

This was Glasgow’s first BID which aimed to drive footfall to the area through targeted marketing and promotion, enhancing visitor experience, promoting a clean and safe destination and representing business interests.

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Sauchiehall Street was also advertised through the development of a new marketing strategy, the establishment of a new website and marketing materials to support members.

The BID encountered problems in the aftermath of the Glasgow School of Art fire in June 2018 with many businesses unable to operate and some moving away from the area.

An official council document says: “While the process of recovery was well underway prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on city centres, trading was still challenging for many retailers.

“There have been limited opportunities to demonstrate the benefits of a BID when the physical infrastructure and general environment throughout the BID area and over the first five-year term were so disrupted.

“Despite the positive impact of the completed Avenue, this fire had a material impact on the BID’s future options. It was generally accepted in early 2019 that the upheaval arising from these events had not lent itself to a reballot, and on that basis the BID would move to closure with a view to potentially revisiting BID options at a future point in time.”

A report will be presented to councillors on Tuesday.