A £5.8 million project to transform a major Glasgow street has been given an expected start date, our sister title The Herald can reveal. 

Argyle Street West Avenue will be redeveloped as part of the city council's flagship Avenues programme which aims to improve the main city centre thoroughfares – from Sauchiehall Street to George Square. 

Scottish company Rainton Construction is expected to begin the £5,827,000 contract – stretching from Kingston Bridge to Union Street – in early summer 2024, with completion due in late autumn 2025. 

Glasgow City Council says the project will deliver "public realm improvements" and will feature "high-quality" pavements and road, new cycleways, trees and potentially raingardens. 

It part of a wider network under the Glasgow City Region City Deal Avenues programme, which aims to provide accessible, safe, and sustainable routes which encourage active travel and connect through the city centre. 

Glasgow Times: An artist's impression of improvements to Glasgow's Sauchiehall Street as part of the Avenues programmeAn artist's impression of improvements to Glasgow's Sauchiehall Street as part of the Avenues programme

Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council and chair of the Glasgow City Region Cabinet, said: “Our Avenues programme is focused on making our city centre streets more attractive and easier to get around – with this particular contract set to deliver work that will transform Argyle Street between the junction with Union Street and the Kingston Bridge.”

It comes after major work to rejuvenate Sauchiehall Street began in September 2023, as part of £5.7m plans to develop a new precinct at the Rose Street end and improvements stretching up to West Nile Street. 

The works, which have caused significant disruption to the beleaguered street, are expected to be completed towards the end of summer 2024. 

It's part of plans to regenerate Glasgow's main shopping streets in the so-called 'Golden-Z' area of the city, which is made up of Sauchiehall, Buchanan, and Argyle Streets. 

Historic Sauchiehall Street has been particularly hard hit by economic challenges and a series of significant fires which have created vacant plots of land. 

An ambitious vision to reinvigorate the city's retail core hopes to transform "gap sites" like the eyesore vacant TJ Hughes near Trongate, the area around the former BHS and Watt Bros buildings, and the former Victoria's nightclub which was the source of a devastating blaze in 2018.  

The need for more homes, workspaces and cultural attractions to enliven the Golden Z is outlined among these plans, as well as sustainable travel to make the city more accessible and green. 

Glasgow Times: Sauchiehall Street looking towards Buchanan StreetSauchiehall Street looking towards Buchanan Street

Increasing the number of people living in the heart of the city has long been an aim of the city council, with ambitions to provide community facilities and services to enable their development.

It's also hoped good quality retail spaces on Buchanan Street will be complemented by a greater mix of restaurant, café, bar and leisure uses. 

Cultural links are also a main focus of the plans, with intentions to better integrate attractions and boost the leisure economy, particularly around Sauchiehall Street. 

Councillor Angus Millar, convener for city centre recovery, said: "Sauchiehall, Argyle and Buchanan streets have long been at the heart of the city centre experience, but these key thoroughfares have been increasingly impacted by the major structural economic changes that are affecting city centres everywhere.

"Having a particular focus on this historic shopping area will help ensure it adapts to the changing retail sector and takes the opportunities coming its way."

The Golden Z project is funded by the Scottish Government’s City Centre Recovery Fund and will be overseen by Glasgow’s city centre task force.

Meanwhile, the £115 million Avenues programme is funded through the Glasgow City Region City Deal, which is funded by the Scottish and UK Governments.

The Glasgow City Region City Deal will see both governments each provide £500 million of funding for infrastructure projects.