When the Glasgow Fort opened in 2004, the regeneration of the Greater Easterhouse area was well underway, with new housing and schools already built or in development. I was clear at the time that, if utilised intelligently, the arrival of a shopping complex the size of the Fort had the potential to boost local employment opportunities and build upon this material transformation. So I was delighted when Labour-led Glasgow City Council reached an agreement with retailers to ensure that local people benefited from the new jobs created. As a result it is estimated that currently around 1,700 of the 2,500 employees live in the surrounding area.
When Marks & Spencers announced that they would open a store at the Fort later this year, I was again clear that the local community must benefit from the jobs and opportunities that will be created – a point I made directly to the Chief Executive. At the end of last month I met with regional M&S bosses, alongside Paul Martin MSP and Cllr Maureen Burke, and was pleased to be given firm assurances that this will be the case.
M&S have outlined a very clear commitment to working alongside Jobs & Business Glasgow and Jobcentre Plus to maximise community benefit. It is absolutely right that people in the east end who are looking for a job should benefit from this development on their own doorstep. Over the coming months, I’ll be making sure M&S bosses stick by their word and the benefits of this new development go to local people.
When the Glasgow Fort opened in 2004, the regeneration of the Greater Easterhouse area was well underway, with new housing and schools already built or in development. I was clear...