Demolition work to start on fire-damaged nightclub

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image captionMore than 120 firefighters tackled the blaze at its height

Demolition of the buildings devastated by a fire on Sauchiehall Street is expected to start on Thursday.

A major blaze spread through the block, which housed businesses including Victoria's nightclub, last month.

Glasgow City Council later confirmed the buildings at 92-96 and 98-106 were unsafe and would have to be pulled down.

The fire was one of the biggest faced by Scotland's fire service since it was amalgamated nearly five years ago.

A council spokesman confirmed cranes will arrive at the site on Thursday morning and the demolition process is likely to get under way later.

A 54m (160ft) boom has been in place since last Friday to allow a survey of the buildings, which are protected by 24-hour security.

image captionThe fire affected a number of properties in Sauchiehall Street

The fire took hold in the roof of the building at about 08:20 on Thursday 22 March.

There were fears the fire could fire could spread to nearby buildings, including the Pavilion Theatre.

The council estimates that some of the roads and footpaths in the area could be shut for two months while the work takes place.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is urging the council to use its business rates powers to provide extra help to those affected by the fire.

The small business campaign group has written to council leader Susan Aitken to make the case for an emergency rates relief scheme.

It also argues temporary signage - highlighting where is open for business and how to get there - could boost footfall for traders in the areas facing disruption.

Martin Little, leader of FSB in Glasgow, said: "Sauchiehall Street is one of Glasgow's main business thoroughfares, with hundreds of businesses located either on or near this world famous street.

"As the area gets back on its feet, we accept that some disruption is unavoidable - and that public safety should be of paramount importance.

"However, given the economic significance of this part of the city centre, I've written to the council leader to ask if Glasgow City Council could consider measures to mitigate the impact on local firms, and to ensure that the area is a great place to do business in the years to come."

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