Calum Leslie

MA Multimedia Journalism student at Glasgow Caledonian University

Glasgow could get new city centre casino

Posted on 06/11/12

A new casino, hotel and series of bars and restaurants could be opened in Glasgow’s Royal Exchange Square.

The plans for the development – stretching from Royal Exchange Court and into buildings on the main square – have been lodged with the city council.

Glenerrol Limited, part of the Lynnet Leisure Group who already own food and drink premises in the square including The Grill Room, One Up and 29 Private Members Club, have made the application.

The square has become an iconic destination in the city, with the buildings the company hope to develop registered as listed and of international significance.

The complex would join the series of bars, restaurants and clubs that surround the city’s Gallery of Modern Art.

Bar staff elsewhere in the square think the plans could attract more business to the area.

However, they are   wary of the impact on their own custom, with one saying:  “It could mean a lot more people visit the square and that could help us, although it might take away some of our business.

“I think they’re trying to create another version of The Corinthian.”

Glenerrol registered a turnover of £5.99million in 2010 and a profit of nearly £700,000.

A new site would also see parent company Lynnet Leisure Group extend their presence in the city centre, with other venues including Karbon on Buchanan Street, along with restaurants Rogano  and Bread + Butter.

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Soliciting reported in Garnethill Park

Posted 29/10/12.

Prostitutes are soliciting near a school and children’s play park in Garnethill, a community council meeting has heard.

Two cases of women approaching passers-by in Garnethill Park in daylight hours were reported.

The incidents occurred between 6pm and 7pm on nights in July and August in the park – which is popular with children and families.

Members of the council urged the police to do more to follow up on their concerns over the reports.

Bill Beckett, of Garnethill Community Council, led calls at October’s meeting for police to focus on the park and surrounding streets.

He told the meeting he was twice approached by women offering sex, and contacted the police at the time.

Afterwards he said: “It’s happening at 6.15pm at night – it’s hard to believe. That was the first time and the second time was two minutes past seven at night. They’re out working early doors.”

Mr Beckett said he was concerned that young children – including those from the nearby St Aloysius College – could encounter the prostitutes.

He added: “It’s a beautiful wee park. It’s great in the summer time, parents take their kids there and there’s a play area for the kids which they love.

“I would like to see more beat officers within the vicinity doing regular checks.”

Strathclyde Police Sergeant David Nicol said the park is being targeted by the force, and urged anyone encountering such behaviour to contact the police right away.

He said: “My officers actively patrol [Garnethill Park], and I actively patrol it when I’m out and about.

“We have been looking at it for some time, it is an area of concern and it does get extra patrols.

“There are dedicated community officers and beat officers for Garnethill, and we would encourage anybody to report any issues of anti-social behaviour immediately to us.”

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Construction firm will fund pensioners’ party

Posted 22/10/12

A Garnethill pensioners’ Christmas party has been saved by a leading UK construction giant.

Sir Robert McAlpine have offered to foot the bill for the community council event – after new city council finance rules left organisers stumped on how to pay for the annual knees-up.

The OAPs’ party was previously funded by city council grants alongside private donations.

But changes earlier this year have put tighter restrictions on how the money coming from the city chambers can be used.

And the construction company – currently carrying out work on the nearby Glasgow School of Art – have stepped in to fill the gap.

Garnethill Community Council chair Hugh Mulholland said: “Traditionally we’ve had a Christmas do and we’ve always had funds for that.

“Usually we’ve had a mixture of city council funds and donations from local churches and businesses.

“About six months ago they changed the rules on funding to community councils. Now we can only use the funding we get from the city council for admin purposes and overheads.

“So we’ve had to cut all of that funding away from our pensioners’ party.

“Sir Robert McAlpine have been really good in listening to the community from day one, and they’ve offered us funding for the lunch.”

The company have been involved in projections like the M74 completion and building the Olympic Stadium in London.

Ian Balmer from Sir Robert McAlpine said the decision was part of their commitment to integrating into local communities.

He said: “No matter where Sir Robert McAlpine is working we will support communities in any way that we can, since construction by its very nature can cause dust, noise and disruption.

“We feel the senior citizens lunch is a worthwhile cause that deserves support.

“We’ve had a really good relationship with Garnethill Community Council and found there’s a fantastic sense of community in the area.”

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Garnethill Multicultural Centre in hunt for cash

Posted 15/10/12

COMMUNITY groups in Garnethill are in danger of being left without a home

The area’s multicultural centre hosts everything from karaoke sessions to pensioners’ tea dances, Taekwondo classes to councillors’ surgeries – but it’s desperate for cash to do repairs.

If community organisers can’t attract funding they could be thrown out of the Rose Street building they rent from the Catholic Church.

The centre (A) sits on Rose Street, just off Suchiehall Street

Ross Donald, centre co-ordinator, said: “The Archdiocese of Glasgow kindly lease the building to us for a peppercorn rent, but one of the conditions is that we have to look after their property.

“We’ve had surveys done and you’re looking at basic repairs costing £150,000.”

The centre gets an annual grant of £50,000 from the city council but it’s struggling to cover even day-to-day costs with that sum.

Donald added: “Just keeping this building running on the shoestring is difficult. Unfortunately it does mean corners have to get cut.

“If we don’t get the money to do the repairs we’d either be relying on the good nature of the archdiocese to give us more time, or they might be looking at getting someone else in.”

Bailie Nina Baker – who holds meetings and attends the community council at the former church hall – fears the consequences of losing the centre in its current form.

She said: “There are surprisingly few facilities in the ward and this is a quite remarkable place.

“It’s somewhere in the heart of the community and heart of the city where you can have events for everybody. It would be a real loss to this whole area.”

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