THE next few weeks will see Glasgow take its first steps along the road to recovery from the global pandemic.

Although there is no room for complacency, we can all get a little excited about being able to do more, travel further and appreciate the unique experiences Glasgow offers everyone.

Last week Glasgow Life indicated when many of the iconic venues in the city are expected to reopen and in the coming days, you’ll be able to book visits to Kelvingrove and Riverside Museums, plan a visit to libraries across the city and sign up for a fitness class or gym sessions.

As well as the announcement more than 90 Glasgow Life venues will reopen again, UEFA also confirmed Hampden Stadium on the list of hosts for Euro 2020 after the return of fans for the matches to be played there was confirmed.

As more and more attractions open and shops and services restart, we can see signs of a return to some normality in the future, more clearly than we have been able to for a year.

We’ve waited so long for these but we must keep within the Scottish Government guidance.

Demand at many Glasgow Life venues will be high.

During lockdown the charity delivered over 325,000 book downloads, 289,000 music downloads and 417 days-worth of Glasgow Club fitness sessions.

Over 27,000 tickets were sold for the online Celtic Connections this year, with more than 200,000 hours enjoyed online in 65 countries around the world.

Last summer when Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Riverside Museum reopened for the first time, both were fully booked over the first 10 weekends.

Glasgow is still a must-visit destination near the top of many people’s places to go and day trips and short breaks will be high priorities for many people in the coming weeks and months. Glasgow’s multi award-winning Conventions Bureau secured £84 million in future business for the city during lockdown winning 28 conferences expected to bring 36,000 people to the city.

Several campaigns will coincide with the easing of restrictions reminding visitors of the things which make this such a special place and to support businesses starting up again.

Glasgow Life is a charity which works to promote inclusion, happiness and health, as well as supporting the city’s visitor economy, in order to enhance Glasgow’s mental, physical and economic wellbeing. Even though it is a time to be positive and hopeful for the future we have to acknowledge the extreme challenges the pandemic will continue to have.

Income for Glasgow Life is going to remain much lower than before lockdown.

We still don’t know when the concert venues we love will be able to reopen or when we are likely to have unrestricted access to culture and sport in the city.

The charity’s operating budget for this year is nearly 15% smaller than the previous year and is fully used across the more than 90 venues identified.

Glasgow Life will continue working for the benefit of the people of Glasgow because we believe everyone deserves a great Glasgow life. Our programmes, experiences and events that range from grassroots community activities to large-scale cultural, artistic and sporting events present Glasgow on an international stage.

When you get the chance to go to a museum, a library or a Glasgow Club in the city, I’m sure it will feel familiar and liberating although the experience isn’t exactly the same as before.

Venues are preparing to welcome people back, staff are being trained how to implement the latest guidance and I hope to see you there very soon.