Buchanan Street retail development opens in Glasgow
A new £70m retail development has officially opened in one of Scotland's busiest shopping streets.
The site at 185-221 Buchanan Street in Glasgow has created more than 200 retail jobs, according to developers.
It includes US fashion business Forever 21's first Scottish store as well as Vans, Paperchase and Gap outlets.
The development, which includes 49 apartments, is part of wider plans to strengthen shopping, residential and leisure facilities in the city centre.
The site stands opposite another major shopping centre, Buchanan Galleries. Both developments are owned by Land Securities.
Land Securities leasing manager Naomi Howard said: "Glasgow loves fashion and shopping so we were thrilled when such exciting retail names like Forever 21 and Vans shared our confidence, choosing Glasgow to debut their first Scottish stores.
"This development strengthens Glasgow's reputation as one of the UK's premier retail destinations and truly enhances the shopping experience for people from Glasgow and beyond."'Welcome boost'
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who attended the opening, described the development as a welcome boost to Scotland's retail sector.
She said: "On-going investment in large scale retail projects like this one here on Buchanan Street helps to ensure sustainable economic growth for Scotland.
"Not only do projects like these provide a welcome boost to the construction sector, they also provide much needed training and employment opportunities for young people in our communities."
In October, the Scottish government approved plans by Glasgow City Council to borrow £80m towards a £390m scheme to regenerate a large section of Glasgow city centre.
The money is being used to lever in an extra £310m for the Buchanan Quarter project to revamp George Square and the Buchanan Galleries shopping centre.
Under the scheme, George Square and Upper Dundas Street will be redeveloped before the Commonwealth Games in 2014.