By Duncan Mackay

Sighthill housing_estateSeptember 8 - Glasgow's bid to host the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games has led to plans for the regeneration of one of the city's poorest areas being brought forward by 20 years

If the bid to host the event is successful, the Olympic Village will be located in Sighthill in the north of the city.

The area has suffered from low demand since the 1970s, despite its close proximity to the centre of Glasgow, and has become a temporary housing location for refugees and asylum seekers.

Glasgow City Council revealed today that building work in the area will begin before any host city is chosen next June, because of the timescale of the bid.

The area is listed as one of eight priority regeneration areas of Glasgow but was in fact scheduled to be the last for redevelopment which may not even have started until 2032.

If used for the 2018 Youth Olympics, the area would provide accommodation for 6,000 athletes and officials.

Glasgow 2018_regeneration_model_3Sighthill, one of the poorest areas of Glasgow, is set to be transformed thanks to the city's bid for the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games

The Council said this would be on a similar scale to the Athletes' Village in the East End of the city for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

New homes both for sale and rent are part of the plan, as is a new school campus and better transport to and from the city centre.

"The regeneration of the area was always a priority for the city but the bid means it can now happen much faster than ever envisaged," said Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson.

"The transformation of the area will bring hundreds of new homes for local people, as well as a new school campus, community facilities and better links for pedestrians to the city centre.

"What's great about this is that we need to start work on this regeneration before we know if we've won the bid.

"As a result of Glasgow just bidding for the Games, people's lives will be transformed."

Glasgow is facing Buenos Aires, Guadalajara, Medellín, Poznań and Rotterdam in the race to host what will be the third edition of the Games. 

"Bidding for the Youth Olympic Games could not only bring another world-class event to Glasgow, it is a huge opportunity to put in place new facilities and infrastructure," said Shona Robison, Scotland's Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport.

"This plan will accelerate the regeneration of Sighthill, whether or not the bid is successful, and create a new community.

"As the transformation of the area begins, effective engagement with the community in Sighthill by all partners will be crucial."

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