Buchanan Galleries extension paused to avoid rail work clash

Buchanan-Gallerie_interiorA £390 million proposal to extend the Buchanan Galleries shopping mall in Glasgow has been put on hold just days before work was due to start.

Developer Land Securities said the project has been brought to a halt due to “an increased level of risk” generated by the simultaneous delivery of the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP).

Now the owners say they will go back to the drawing board in the hope of coming up with a new scheme to extend the popular shopping complex.

Developer Land Securities said in a statement: “We are not currently pursuing the existing plans for the extension of Buchanan Galleries, due to an increased level of risk generated by the simultaneous delivery of the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP).

“As a long-term investor in Glasgow, we remain committed to owning and managing the existing successful Buchanan Galleries scheme and we retain our ambition to invest in improving the retail and leisure provision within the centre.

“We will continue to work on our plans to extend Buchanan Galleries, as Network Rail delivers EGIP over the next 18 months.”

The £742m EGIP is being delivered by Network Rail and includes modernisation and upgrades to key junctions and infrastructure as well as widespread electrification of the Scottish rail network, including the main line between Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Plans were approved in February this year by Glasgow City Council for the BDP-designed Buchanan Galleries development, the more contentious element of which included the removal of the much-loved steps outside Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. It had been hoped the new extension would be open by Christmas 2017 but that is now in doubt.

The scheme was expected to deliver a 392,000 sq ft expansion of the Buchanan Galleries; enable up to £80m of public infrastructure works and public realm improvements; create a new 1500-space car park at Queen Street Station with 35,000 sq ft of associated retail units; and provide 50,000 sq ft of new retail development at the southern end of the existing Buchanan Galleries site.

It would have resulted in more than 100 shops, a 10 screen cinema, 25 restaurants and a new 1700 space car park next to Queen Street station.

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