The future of George Square: New plans submitted see cafes, water feature, lawn, and events space

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New plans for George Square look drastically different to the George Square we know

New images show how a revamped George Square could look as plans to transform the space are set to be submitted.

They include a water feature, a raised lawn, sheltered seating and “informal ‘play’ areas for children”.

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All statues, except for the Sir Walter Scott statue and the cenotaph, would be removed to allow redevelopment. “The final placement of the statues will be considered in the next design stage.”

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said the statues would be taken away while redevelopment work is carried out, cleaned and returned once the project is completed.

There could also be a lawn in front of the Cenotaph, while the water feature is planned for the western side of the Sir Walter Scott monument. There would be an area for cafes and paved space for events.

An birdseye view of the design sketch for the submitted plans of George SquareAn birdseye view of the design sketch for the submitted plans of George Square
An birdseye view of the design sketch for the submitted plans of George Square | contributed

The council said the planning application will provide “one more opportunity” for the people of Glasgow to have their say on the design of the civic square.

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Planners will check the proposal complies with local and national policies, and, as the Square has “major heritage and historical significance”, the application will also be reviewed by Historic Environment Scotland.

Plans are likely to be submitted week commencing Monday, October 30, and comments on the scheme will be accepted.

The period for comments is expected to run from November into December while a decision on the application is predicted in the spring of 2024.

If planning consent is awarded, work is likely to begin in George Square in spring 2025, with completion in 2027.

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John McAslan + Partners, which worked on the refurbishment of the Burrell Collection, secured the design contract for George Square.

An aerial view of the design sketch for the submitted plans of George SquareAn aerial view of the design sketch for the submitted plans of George Square
An aerial view of the design sketch for the submitted plans of George Square | Contributed

The architectural practice previously received a contract to redesign the square in 2013 before the project was pulled by former council leader Gordon Matheson.

The new George Square redesign is part of the city’s £115m Avenues scheme, which is funded by the Glasgow City Region deal, a £1 billion investment from the UK and Scottish Governments.

Public and stakeholder engagement took place last year, with the design sketches altered in response to feedback.

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