Edinburgh and Glasgow could join forces for events

VisitScotland is predicting that Edinburgh and Glasgow will regularly be joining forces to stage major events and conferences over the next decade.

Chairman Mike Cantlay said the new facilities being completed in the two cities, combined with improved transport links, would transform Scotland’s ability to perform on the global stage.

And he predicted an increasing number of bids would be “dual city” on the back of the Commonwealth Games, in Glasgow, when the Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh will be hosting the diving competitions.

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Improved transport access to stadiums, such as Celtic Park and Murrayfield, the new Hydro arena in Glasgow, the extension to the EICC in Edinburgh and the new arena at Edinburgh Castle esplanade are among major improvements already finished or nearing completion.

Ten minutes are expected to be shaved off the rail journey times between Edinburgh and Glasgow over the next three years, bringing it to 40 minutes.

Mr Cantlay said: “If there is a real legacy from the next couple of years it is how Glasgow and Edinburgh are shaping up to work together in an integrated fashion to deliver on the global stage.

“If we look ten years ahead I think we’ll see we how the way we use our two key cities has changed the whole way we sell tourism.

“Edinburgh and Glasgow are coming closer together in terms of accessibility and are working together better on various projects.

“The Ryder Cup is a classic example next year. No-one is really staying in Auchterarder, the vast bulk of the accommodation we’re having to provide is split between Edinburgh and Glasgow.

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“Another project is around the Commonwealth Games, which finishes almost to the day that the Edinburgh Festival Fringe starts.”

“The new Hydro arena in Glasgow has 12,500 seats, but Glasgow cannot cope readily with that number of bedrooms for an event. The largest conferences we’d be hosting in Glasgow will inevitably involve accommodation outside Glasgow.

“Minute by minute, the journey time is coming down, every minute makes a difference, and in ten years’ time more projects will be seen as dual-city rather than single city.”