My Column

Great for jobs... but will revamp be step too far

  • Date: Monday 30th January 2023
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We’ve finally had the chance to get a sneak preview of what the new-look Buchanan Street might be like of Landsec’s plans go ahead – and it’s impressive.

Last year, the owners of Buchanan Galleries announced plans to demolish the shopping centre and completely transform and modernise this part of the city.

In early consultations, the public made it clear they wanted the plans to boost day and night-time economies.  Now, the third and final phase of the consultation process begun.

In my opinion, it’s a win-win for Glasgow. This is an £800million investment which would see not only Buchanan Street but also Sauchiehall Street benefit, which is great news. Plus, it will create jobs.

It’s not so long ago we saw the £115m Sauchiehall Avenue project take shape, helping to transform part of the city between Charing Cross and Rose Street, bringing economic benefits and a brighter future with better business prospects.

And there are yet more ambitious plans in the pipeline.

Further down the road at the St Enoch Centre, developers have applied for planning permission for a radical transformation, revitalising the centre and adding more leisure facilities as well as a hotel, office space, homes and public space.

While the Buchanan Galleries proposals are sparking excitement, they aren’t without a wee bit of controversy.

The plans bring proposed changes to the Royal Concert Hall including the removal of the entrance steps.

You may wonder what the big deal is – it’s just steps, right? But myself and many others would beg to differ, as they’ve become so much more than that.

They’re a meeting point, a social hub, a place to people-watch, an elevated viewpoint across a landmark shopping street and beyond.

They provide a spot where you can take five when you’re navigating the hustle and bustle, and they’re a draw for buskers and their spectators.

Some are horrified at the idea of losing this valued space.

This unlikely landmark shows how important it is for developers to listen to local opinion, and in this instance the message is clear – those in the city value having a public space like this.

So I was pleased to see that, on balance, the plans do include the creation of a new public park or building above the railway on Cathedral Street. It shows that people are being listened to and that thought has been given to creating new public spaces for locals and visitors alike.

Plus, removal of the steps also means a fully accessible entrance to the Royal Concert Hall which can only be a good thing, and the developers believe this will allow for a larger public space around the statue of the late First Minister Donald Dewar.

So I think that, while it’s important to preserve Glasgow’s history, also need to allow for change, move with the times and meet the city’s ever-changing needs. Think of the big picture and the exciting potential of these plans.

I’ll be interested to see the outcome of the consultation, which his such an important part of the process in order to give everyone in the city – from residents to businesses – a voice and an opportunity to help shape the plans.

I think whatever happens, it will continue to thrive, as it has weathered plenty of huge changes and I reckon they’ve been for the better.

Those have paved the way for it becoming one of the UK’s best shopping destinations, renowned for its high end retail offering.

In fact it’s believed to be the second busiest shopping thoroughfare after the famous Oxford Street which is pretty incredible.

Long may that continue!



It was interesting to read about the unique ‘coffee cup test’ that one boss uses to test potential employees at the end of every job interview.

The simple but seemingly effective test is being used by one accounting boss, who works at Xero Australia, when deciding who to hire for a job role.

He takes prospective candidates for a walk to the kitchen where they’ll walk away with a drink.  It’s brought back to the interview room, and after the interview, the boss is looking for one thing:  whether the candidate wants to take their empty cup back to the kitchen.

He believes that while you can develop skills and gain knowledge, an attribute that must also be considered is attitude.  He looks for what he calls the “wash your coffee cup” attitude which shows manners and consideration.

In fact he takes it so seriously that he will even blacklist a person from the company if they fail the test.

Attitude is of course important, but in my opinion this seems a tad harsh, especially if employment rates in Scotland are anything to go by.

Data from the Office for National Statistics has shown that Scotland’s employment rate has reached a new high despite highlighting a small rise in the number of people who are out of work.

I would advise employers to beware of using too many biases or ‘tricks’ to weed out the people whose manners they aren't fond of. This is another way to put off eager job seekers and that's definitely something we can do without.



It seems like it doesn’t take a lot to get us Scots excited during the bleak month of January.

After reading about how people have been going crazy over the launch of a new Space Raiders snack being, I couldn’t help but chuckle.

Iceland is apparently launching a brand new type of onion ring-style snack inspired by the retro tuck shop favourite, in the classic pickled onion flavour.

But the best part is the excitement that it’s managed to elicit from Scottish social media users who are clamouring to get hold of a bag.

Wonder if they'll be so excited once they realise they're up to £2 now instead of 20p?

Nonetheless, I’m sure the alien-shaped crisps will be flying off the shelves in no time.



It’s a sad sight when you walk through your local shopping mall or high street and see vacant shops.

The Scottish Retail Consortium recently revealed the country’s vacancy rate is actually one of the worst in the whole of the UK.

Can you believe that one in every SIX shops here in Scotland is lying empty?

The Local Data Company, which carried out the study, did say retail parks vacancies had improved and said the Christmas trading period indicated consumers were “favouring and returning to stores alongside their online spend”.

But I’m not convinced they did so because they rediscovered their love for the high street.  The postal strikes and rail strikes meant many simply had no other option.

Sadly, without these exceptional circumstances, I suspect many would have avoided it and stuck to online shopping.







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