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Dear Green Place lives up to name with its eco boom

  • Date: Monday 1st April 2013
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Our fair city of Glasgow is once again the centre of attention. I was delighted to hear that ‘the Dear Green Place’ has been shortlisted as one of only four cities that will compete to become Europe’s Green Capital in 2015.

Coming straight after the Commonwealth Games in 2014 this would be another fine feather in Glasgow’s cap. The Games are undoubtedly going to put the city in the West on the international map and transform it through investment in homes, infrastructure and leisure facilities. Winning the Green Capital accolade would build on this and further enhance Scotland’s largest city. Not to mention the jobs and business growth possibilities that would go hand-in-hand with such an award.

The accolade is given out every year by the European Commission to the city that has the highest environmental standards. Green Capital alumni include Stockholm in Sweden and Hamburg in Germany. If Glasgow was to win it would be the first time a UK city had bagged the coveted prize.

Glasgow is up against some stiff competition in the form of Bristol – which is also vying to take home the British first as well as Brussels and the Slovenian capital Ljubljana. 

That said, when it comes to green credentials Glasgow has plenty to shout about. The city is fast becoming a hub for renewable energy research – only last year Glasgow was chosen to house the headquarters of the £50m Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult centre. The centre, based next to the University of Strathclyde, offers invaluable research leading to the development of renewable technologies. 

As Scotland’s biggest city Glasgow is home to some of the biggest players in renewable energy, including the European Funding for the Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC) which is quickly growing into a world leading centre for the development of renewable energy technologies, pharmaceutical manufacturing, advanced engineering and health expertise.

It’s also home to the Whitelee Windfarm - the UK's largest onshore windfarm - which is located 20 minutes from Glasgow’s city centre. The windfarm has 215 turbines which can generate 539MW of electricity, enough to power over 300,000 homes.

It’s fantastic to see so much innovation and expertise in the renewables sector come out of a Scottish city which is nurturing home-grown businesses and research.

In fact, the Green Capital award is really already in Glasgow’s name. The city’s moniker is thought to hark back to a middle Gaelic word for green hollow or green place and with more than 90 parks and formal gardens you can see that it still lives up to this name.

Of course it’s not the first time Glasgow has been heralded a success on an international level. Back in 1990 the city won the accolade of European City of Culture for its plethora of top notch museums and galleries.

Glasgow really does have so much to offer across a multitude of industries and sectors. Historically seen as the country’s underdog due to its poor housing, high unemployment and often terrifying crime statistics, over the past couple of decades Glasgow has completely transformed itself becoming a main economic player in the European arena.

Winning the Green Capital accolade would not only display Glasgow as a role model within the renewables sector, help boost new businesses and create more jobs, but would also build on the momentum of the Commonwealth Games and show how far ‘Glesga’ really has come.

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I really have to hand it to Ant and Dec – that pair crack me up. Saturday Night Takeaway is just sheer comedy and I think the entire country let out a whoop and a cheer when they brought back PJ and Duncan, belting out their famous track ‘Let’s get ready to rumble’, live on the show.

Not surprisingly, the video went viral and thousands flocked to download the song, sending it straight to the top of the charts.

The Newcastle duo have spoken of their shock at the song’s newfound popularity, since it only reach number nine, 19 years ago. But the boys have also said that all proceeds from the sales will be going to Childline.

It just goes to show the power of nostalgia when the internet and social media is involved.



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