In 2007 Glasgow became the third Scottish city awarded the honour of hosting the Commonwealth Games. Work on the new facilities may be advancing quietly behind the smokescreen of London 2012, but Glasgow is getting ready to take the world by storm.
At the beginning of June the City Legacy Consortium set to work on the £150 million housing development to be used as the Athletes’ Village. The City Legacy Consortium is a collaboration between CCG, Cruden, Mactaggart & Mickel and W H Malcolm, who beat off fierce competition to win the contract. This project offers a real boost to the construction industry in the area, with the Consortium stating that they will employ 620 people on the site, including 84 apprentices.
The site in Dalmarnock covers 38.5 hectares and will comprise accommodation for up to 8,000 competitors in low-rise, energy-efficient homes. 700 riverside homes will be created in time for the Games, with a further 750 to be constructed after the event, in a drive to create a highly desirable new residential district, which will also include a 120 bed care home and feature a waterfront beach.
A variety of energy-efficient features will reduce carbon emissions in the homes by 60%, and they are also built from low-carbon materials, as part of the drive for a ‘green’ Games.
Delivery of the Athletes’ Village is currently running on track and on budget, with all involved parties recognising that impressive and welcoming accommodation will be key to the success of the games. However, this is also an investment in the long-term future of the community, creating homes, jobs and training opportunities.
The city’s strong bid for the Games was supported by the fact that 70% of the facilities needed were already in place, and would only need up-grades and temporary additions to make them suitable sites for various events.
One such tried-and-tested site is Strathclyde Park, which already boasts the world-class Scottish Rowing Centre, and is also a regular host of triathlon events. A series of works will be carried out at the park, which will be equipped with seating for 2,000 spectators in 2014, and may also benefit from transport upgrades. Temporary facilities will be installed to meet the requirements of the Commonwealth Games Federation and the International Federation of Triathlon, but at the end of the events Strathclyde Park will be left in a position to provide quality training grounds and host further major events.
Hampden Park is another landmark that will receive a major makeover for the Commonwealth Games, where it will host athletics events. One motive behind converting the stadium rather than building one from scratch is the comparative eco-friendliness of a conversion. The works will include raising the current playing surface by 1.5 metres and installing a running track, warm up track and field-events facilities.
Exciting new additions to the venues currently available in the city include the National Indoor Sports Arena (NISA) and velodrome which, like almost all of the venues, are well within 20k of the Athletes’ Village. Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd are building the facilities over 10.5 hectare site in Glasgow’s East End, and these will form one of the largest indoor sports centres in Europe.
Named after the man who became a Scottish hero in the Beijing Olympics, the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome will be the country’s first indoor velodrome, featuring a 250m track with a target of 4,000 seat capacity during the Games. Meanwhile the NISA will host the badminton tournament at the Games, and will also become the national training centre for a range of sports. The two venues will share athlete training and conditioning facilities.
Other facilities built on the site will include a community sports centre with provision for a range of sports, health and fitness suite, and the use of the high-spec, sprung-floored NISA sports halls.
At a ceremony marking the commencement of works on the site, Councillor Archie Graham, Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games at Glasgow City Council, said: “The beginning of the construction of the National Indoor Sports Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome is another landmark towards the creation of a world-class sporting complex for Glasgow.”He went on to say that he expected further international events to be staged there in the future, saying: “This will undoubtedly be a fantastic asset to Glasgow and Scotland.”
Working closely with the Glasgow 2014 Bid Team and architects RMJM, UK firm DesignHive created stunning CGIs and animations of the proposed venues, which proved to be an invaluable component of the bid campaign. Now these dreams are becoming a reality, and Glasgow looks forward to welcoming the world.