GLASGOW city centre is about to get a spruce up as work gets underway to improve the "look and feel" of the area.

In an effort to drive forward the recovery and revitalisation of the centre following the Covid-19 pandemic, the Glasgow City Centre Task Force (CCTF) will be organising the deep cleaning of streets, graffiti removal and the dressing of vacant shopfronts. 

The task force will be finding temporary uses for retail buildings that are not currently in use, and will support local businesses to encourage an increase in "cafe culture".

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The work is supported by almost £2million of Scottish Government Funding and is being delivered by the CCTF which was set up to bring together Glasgow City Council, local businesses and other partners to provide an immediate response to the pandemic and help guide the city centre through longer-term changes. 

Community Enforcement Officers are also being funded to support visitors to the city centre, report issues including anti-social behaviour and help businesses with emerging issues.

In addition, there is a new visitor campaign with events to attract both Glaswegians and visitors back to the centre.

The CCTF is co-chaired by Cllr Angus Millar, convener for city centre recovery at Glasgow City Council, and Stuart Patrick, chief executive of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, while members include representatives from sectors such as retail, hospitality and events, as well as the Scottish and UK Governments.

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Cllr Angus Millar said: "The practical steps to improve the look and feel of the city centre after the devastation of the pandemic are now underway. 

"Businesses and residents want to see cleaner streets, the blight of vacant properties addressed, graffiti removed and to enjoy more events and café culture on our streets.

"This Scottish Government funding will really assist in achieving those aims and in attracting more visitors to the city centre and restoring the vibrancy and vitality Glasgow is renowned for. 

"It will also help us plan for those longer-term shifts which cities across the world are facing, including the relentless rise of online retail and the need to adapt to climate change and deliver a city centre fit for the next century. 

"A sustainable future for the city centre means a better mix of uses, from shopping and hospitality to offices and residential, and we are working locally and with the Scottish Government to plan for the changes we need."

Stuart Patrick said: "The beginning of the programme to support city centre recovery is an encouraging development. 

"We all know that Glasgow city centre has suffered badly from the pandemic and businesses will be keen to see footfall return and the funding from the Scottish Government to support such work is very much welcomed.

"Glasgow’s footfall is still well below its pre-pandemic levels with the shortfall now 21% lower than 2019 levels.

"This equates to 930,000 less visitors in the city centre last month, which unfortunately has contributed towards city centre ground floor unit vacancy rates increasing by 23% compared to pre-pandemic levels.

"This programme will not only help improve the centre’s look and feel but will actively support a marketing campaign to draw consumers back to enjoy our retail, hospitality and leisure offerings. 

"We will also continue to support the work of the City Centre Taskforce in finding new uses for so many of the shop units and older offices that are now vacant.

"Driving footfall back into our city must remain a priority for all levels of Government and the beginning of this programme will be welcomed by all businesses across the city."