The proposed redevelopment of Glasgow’s iconic George Square will be part of a bold city centre vision designed to support the local economy and booming tech sector.

Local government officials have said the multi-million pound redesign will boast a water feature, cafes, sheltered seating, a play area for children and an events space.

With the project due to start next January – with completion by 2027 – it is part of wider plans for city centre regeneration – which will encompass the city’s innovation districts and desire to attract new investment in emerging sectors.

The scheme is part of the £115million Avenues project – a network of new, attractive, accessible, safe, sustainable and easily-maintained routes throughout the city centre that are people-focused, encourage active travel and are more attractive to residents, workers, visitors and investors. 

The Avenues project is funded through the Glasgow City Region City Deal, with the funding provided by the Scottish and UK Governments.

George Gillespie, executive director of neighbourhoods, regeneration and sustainability at Glasgow City Council, said: “The confirmation of the timetable of works for the George Square project is clearly a significant stage in what will be a transformational scheme for Glasgow’s foremost civic space.  A great deal of consultation led to the final design for the Square and reflects the ambition to build a space that respects the place the Square holds in our history and meets the future needs of the city and its visitors.”

The new City Centre Strategy 2024-30 shows billions of pounds of further new developments in the pipeline over the coming years. As well as new retail and leisure destinations created through the wholesale overhaul of Buchanan Galleries and the St Enoch Centre, major new residential developments are being progressed while the innovation sectors around universities are expected to expand further.

The council is establishing a new approach to managing regeneration activity, with a new development team working to proactively identify solutions for key sites and deliver the actions plan in the new City Centre Strategy.

Councillor Angus Millar, convener for city centre recovery at Glasgow City Council, said the new strategy was already translating into actions.

He said: “Over the decades, Glasgow has shown itself to be a master at reinvention and the latest stage of that reinvention is now well and truly underway. We know that investors have had confidence in Glasgow and this is being borne out with what we’re seeing coming on-stream.  In the next few years Glaswegians can expect to see a lot more activity going on in the city centre. Some of this regeneration work may cause disruption, but this is about securing the city centre’s future as the beating heart of Glasgow for years to come.”

Glasgow has been ranked in the top three leading tech cities in the UK outside of London according to the UK Tech Cities report, published by global real estate advisor CBRE.

Its regional tech ecosystem recently hit a valuation of £4.1 billion according to a new industry report. Its collective enterprises are now part of one of the fastest-growing clusters in the UK, according to Dealroom’s second annual report on the city region.