Glasgow 2014 drop plans to blow up tower blocks during Opening Ceremony

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Red Row Towers Glasgow Getty Images1

April 13, 2014 (ISN) – A plan by Glasgow 2014 to feature the live demolition of five tower blocks during the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games has been abandoned following a public outcry, it was announced today.

The decision to blow up Red Road tower blocks in the North East of the city as part f the Ceremony had divided public opinion since it was revealed earlier this month. 

Organisers had claimed razing the derelict 1960s blocks would have showed how Glasgow is changing for the better while celebrating the role the flats have played in the lives of thousands of city families.

But more than 10,000 people had signed a petition started by former Socialist Member of the Scottish Parliament Carolyn Leckie. calling for a rethink of plans to the blocks during the Ceremony which is set to be broadcast around the world. 

“Over the past few days it has become clear that opinions have been expressed which change the safety and security context. Glasgow 2014, Games partners and key stakeholders, including Police Scotland and Glasgow Housing Association, are not prepared to allow what was proposed to be a positive act of commemoration to create risk for all concerned, including the communities of north east Glasgow,” said Glasgow 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg.

“The demolition of Red Road will now not feature as part of the Opening Ceremony.”

Residents had been among those leading the protests against plans to demolish the Red Road tower blocks during the Opening Ceremony of Glasgow 2014 ©Twitter

Residents had been among those leading the protests against plans to demolish the Red Road tower blocks during the Opening Ceremony of Glasgow 2014 ©Twitter

Opponents had claimed they the plans were insensitive to former residents and to the asylum seekers who occupy the sixth block, 33 Petershill Court, due for demolition at a later date.

The petition addressed to Scotland’s Commonwealth Games and Sports Minister Shona Robison and Glasgow City Council had said: “Stop the plan to demolish Red Road flats as part of Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

“The demolition of the Red Road blocks is a matter for Glasgow Housing Association and will take place under a full safety regime as part of their on-going regeneration programme,” said Grevemberg. 

“However, It remains our intention to dedicate an element within the Ceremony to telling the story of Glasgow’s social history and regeneration.”

The row had threatened to overshadow the build-up to tomorrow’s ceremony to mark the countdown to 100 days until the start of Glasgow 2014. 

“This is a day of excitement and anticipation for each one of the 4,500 athletes of the Commonwealth who will come to Glasgow in just 12 weeks’ time to compete for gold and glory,” said Grevemberg.

“We hope the people of Glasgow and Scotland will come together to warmly welcome them as we look forward to delivering a Games that these athletes, spectators as well as communities across Scotland and the Commonwealth can all feel proud.”

(Logo photo: Getty_Images)

 

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