LORD Smith of Kelvin, who took charge of Glasgow’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games and led the post-referendum review of devolution, has been handed another high-profile role as the head of one Scotland’s largest regeneration projects.
He has been tasked with delivering the Commonwealth Games legacy as the boss of Clyde Gateway, the company behind a regeneration programme for Glasgow’s East End.
Lord Smith served as chair of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games organising committee, after a distinguished business career and a stint as Scottish governor of the BBC.
The Glasgow-born peer said he would use his Games experience to help Clyde Gateway, which was launched as a 20-year project to attract businesses, homes and jobs to a 2,000-acre, rundown part of the city.
Lord Smith, whose CV includes roles such as chairman of Forth Ports and the Green Investment Bank and Scottish governor of the BBC, will take up the unpaid post next month.
The appointment comes just two months after the publication of the findings of the Smith Commission, which was charged with delivering the additional tax and welfare powers promised to Scots in “The Vow” if they voted No in the referendum.
Clyde Gateway is home to some of the major venues and locations associated with the 2014 Games, including the Athletes’ Village, Emirates Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.
Lord Smith said: “The 2014 Commonwealth Games came with a promise that the event would be a springboard for a continued and sustainable transformation of the East End, one which would go on for many years after the athletes and officials had returned home, and Clyde Gateway is at the forefront of ensuring this happens.
“I have long been impressed with the vision and ambition being shown by Clyde Gateway and by the fantastic partnership work involving the two councils [Glasgow and South Lanarkshire], Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Government and the wide and diverse range of community groups. However, there is still a big task ahead over the next decade and beyond.
“No-one should think that just because things have moved on from the Games that the efforts to bring about the change and transformation are going to slow down.”
The first residents are in the process of moving into the 700 homes built as part of the Games Village and Police Scotland have begun relocating 1,100 staff into new offices in Dalmarnock.
Lord Smith said: “The next Commonwealth Games are a little more than three years away in Australia, at which time many people will look back and ask what exactly has been the legacy for Glasgow – I intend to ensure that, when they look at the Clyde Gateway communities, they will see it has been every bit as world-class as the Games were themselves.”
Clyde Gateway chief executive Ian Manson said: “Lord Smith is a perfect fit for us at this time, some seven years along a journey that is going to take two decades to complete.”
The appointment was also welcomed by politicians from all sides, who said the 2014 Commonwealth Games legacy project was in safe hands.”
Lord Smith succeeds Lanarkshire businessman Neil MacDonald, who is stepping down after three years in charge of a project that has attracted investment of more than £150million with a further £60m in the pipeline.
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