Glasgow 2014: What will the legacy of the Commonwealth Games legacy be?

Artist's impression of Commonwealth opening ceremony Glasgow's Commonwealth Games will open with a blaze of colour and spectacle, but what will be their lasting legacy to the city?

It was in 2002 that Manchester played host to the Commonwealth Games. Many say that it was the city that set the precedent of creating a 'legacy" from a major sporting event.

In the last part of our series on the Commonwealth Games and regeneration, Lisa Summers looks at what Glasgow can learn from Manchester, where development continues 12 years down the line.

line break

Like Glasgow, Manchester is a city built on heavy industry. It too has issues with poverty and high unemployment, and it is a city that loves its sport.

In 2002, the Commonwealth Games kicked off a huge regeneration project in the east of Manchester - concentrated in the areas of Clayton and Beswick.

At the heart of that regeneration was "Sport City", home now to the Ethiad, Manchester City Football Club's home ground, the National Squash centre, an athletics track, tennis centre and across the road, the "medal factory" as they call it, the Velodrome.

Even now, the development continues. From a vantage point on top of a new sixth form college still under construction - the panorama tells the story of the games - as does the leader of Manchester City Council Sir Richard Leese.

Etihad stadium The City of Manchester stadium, now known as the Etihad, was constructed especially for the 2002 Commonwealth Games

"What the Commonwealth Games gave us and what Sport City gave us was a focus for regeneration, it gave people pride in the area, it gave people a belief that the area had a future. And we see here that 12 years later, notwithstanding the recession, that regeneration is still taking place here."

But simply walk over the road from the famous venues and the picture is not quite so rosy. The crime rate in Clayton is more than double the national average and unemployment remains high.

For lifelong Manchester resident Andrea Broad, the Commonwealth Games is not so impressive. She says buildings are still crumbling and she has seen no sign of investment in jobs.

"There's the streets behind me, and all the jobs and everything, I don't think they go to the locals at all," she says. "There's plenty of people around here unemployed."

Another local resident, Kareen Smith's view is the same: "If you are going to build something in the community that benefits the community shouldn't they get to apply for jobs first?"

Manchester city centre Manchester's city centre still benefits from the investment made for the 2002 Commonwealth Games

Both acknowledge that the sports facilities are well used. Their children are regular visitors to the Velodrome where there are waiting lists for community taster sessions.

Away from the east of the city, the transport infrastructure that the Games brought has allowed the whole of the city to benefit. An extension of the tram line was funded by the Games. Broadly speaking Manchester is considered a success story.

Professor Kevin Ward is from Manchester University and an expert on urban regeneration: "I think it has managed to regenerate the east of the city. It's managed to pull in Manchester City football club, and it's created some of the jobs that it wanted to create all those years ago."

But Professor Ward does concede that Manchester could have been better at consulting with the local community about how they wanted to benefit from the cash injection around the Games. That is something he believes is happening in Glasgow.

The Commonwealth Games can provide a lucrative hook for regeneration, the question for Glasgow, long after the Commonwealth Games is gone, is will it mean lasting change?

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Scotland stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • SkatesCity-dweller's dream

    These motorised roller skates allow you to cruise to work - without breaking a sweat

Programmes

  • A digger operated via an Oculus Rift and a controllerClick Watch

    Why controlling a heavy digger with a virtual reality helmet might improve safety

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.