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Last Updated: Friday, 9 November 2007, 13:25 GMT
East end hoping to be 2014 winner
Glasgow has been chosen to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Those behind the bid say the event would bring huge social and economic benefits to the deprived east end.

Laura Pettigrew looks at the potential lasting legacy of Glasgow 2014.


Site of the proposed National Indoor Sports Arena
The proposed site of the velodrome and National Indoor Sports Arena
Once the industrial powerhouse of Glasgow, the east end is now in many places scarred and run down.

Some new developments are springing up, but many shops sit empty, buildings are derelict and wasteland is desolate.

But when the Commonwealth Games come to Glasgow in 2014 all that could change.

The Glasgow Chamber of Commerce estimates that about 300m would be invested in the city as a result of the Games.

Dalmarnock would provide the setting for an athlete's village, with about 1,000 new houses and retail space.

For east end butcher, Frank Cross, the investment cannot come quick enough.

He said: "Over the last 30 or so years they have really taken the heart out of this area. They got rid of the tenements and some of the old buildings.

The east end used to be a vibrant place, full of life. I remember loads of tenements and shops. There was a huge engineering plant and a printing works and power station
Cllr George Redmond

"There used to be a right good community spirit here but now it's so sparse.

"There are buildings and shops here and there but there's no longer a real sense of community."

And it is that community spirit and sense of pride in the area that those behind Glasgow 2014 want to reinvigorate.

The east end, once a flourishing area of industrial growth, slid into decline in the 1970s and 80s.

Some 20,000 local jobs in heavy engineering plants at Parkhead, Cambuslang and Tollcross disappeared.

Calton councillor, George Redmond, grew up in the area.

He said: "The east end used to be a vibrant place, full of life.

"I remember loads of tenements and shops. There was a huge engineering plant and a printing works and power station.

Dalmarnock luncheon club
Locals are crossing their fingers that Glasgow wins the Games

"It really was a wonderful place."

Cllr Redmond said he believed getting the Commonwealth Games could turn the area's fortunes around.

He added: "Confidence will change. People will want to be part of this. The new developments will be fantastic for local people and will also attract new people and businesses.

"Dalmarnock will be one of the most modern communities in Scotland.

"We know that we need to motivate young people in the area and provide training and skills to fill the jobs that will be created.

"We want them to realise there is hope and a future in the east end."

A new national indoor sports facility and velodrome will be built in the east end.

And the Clyde Gateway project should see the creation of 21,000 new jobs in the east end and boost the population by 20,000.

This level of investment is much needed in an area where 60% of the 124,000 residents live in communities classed as Scotland's "most deprived".

Waste ground
Derelict waste land in the east end will be transformed for 2014

At the Dalmarnock luncheon club regulars were hopeful that the 2014 Games could reverse the negative statistics.

Carer Ruby Hunter said: "I think it would bring new jobs for the youngsters, better local amenities and improved bus services.

"It would also encourage young people to get off the couch and get more involved in sport."

Elizabeth Leddie, 87, said: "I might not be here to see the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 but I would like to see future generations and the young people of the area really benefit from it.

"Dalmarnock used to a happy place and it could be again."

It is clear hosting the Commonwealth Games would boost Glasgow's profile and provide a much-needed revenue injection for the east end.

However, organisers, locals and those who are already working to regenerate the city's most deprived areas say the Games should not be viewed as a quick fix.

They are hoping the 'shot in the arm' that Glasgow 2014 could provide will be a long-lasting one.

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
How the east end will benefit from the games



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