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Glasgow loses bid for super-casino licence

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February 1 2007

Glasgow has lost its bid to become the location for the UK’s first Las Vegas-style super-casino.

The Casino Advisory Panel (CAP) granted the potentially lucrative licence to Manchester, prompting anger from the frontrunner town of Blackpool, and accusations from Glasgow City Council of “luke-warm support” on the part of the Scottish Executive.

Glasgow City Council leader Steven Purcell described the decision as a “disappointment,” and has attacked the Executive for not fully supporting the bid, which would have resulted in the creation of up to 2,500 jobs and an increase in visitor numbers.

Council spokesman James Doherty said that the casino would have been “a catalyst for even more development, growth and economic success in Glasgow,” and that the council would consider another proposal in the event of another licence being granted in the future.

The CAP report stated that part of Manchester’s success was due to the potential good a complex of this size could do for the area, in terms of social regeneration and economic impact. In response, Mr Doherty said that Glasgow City Council “would argue that Glasgow still has negative issues to address…but the regeneration will continue.”

The council has now decided to concentrate its efforts on the 2014 Commonwealth Games bid, and its ongoing ten-year tourism strategy.

As the proposal stands, the casino is to be built in the Sportcity area in Beswick, East Manchester, home of the largest cluster of sporting facilities in the UK- a development legacy from the Commonwealth Games held in Manchester in 2002.

The casino will be built across from the City of Manchester Stadium - home of Manchester City Football Club and winner of the 2004 RIBA Inclusive Design Award - and should also include a five-star hotel, bars and restaurants, as well as facilities for the local community such as a swimming pool, performance arena and sports centre.

A spokeswoman for Manchester City Council said that the preferred developer and architects attached to the project were Ask Developments and Ian Simpson Architects, however the casino licence contract stipulates that the project must go back to tender, leaving the final development open to change.

The CAP did grant a small casino licence to the town of Stranraer - one of only eight awarded throughout the country, and the only successful Scottish application.

Stranraer’s licence comes at a pivotal time for the town following the loss of the long-standing Stena Line ferry service to nearby Cairnryan.

It is hoped that the casino will generate private sector interest in the Stranraer and Loch Ryan Waterfront Regeneration Programme, which should include water leisure facilities for sailing, windsurfing and a 400-berth marina, as well as new housing for the community.

A spokesman for Dumfries and Galloway Council put the win down to “a very strong proposal” and said that emphasis would be placed on the involvement of the local community throughout the development process.

When completed, the casino will hold up to 80 gaming machines with a maximum jackpot of £4,000, but no architect is attached to the project as yet.

Culture, Media and Sport Minister Tessa Jowell will have final say on whether the recommendations are taken forward to a vote in Parliament.
(L-R) Tom Russell, Chief Executive of New East Manchester Ltd; Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council and Sir Howard Bernstein, Chief Executive of Manchester City Council
(L-R) Tom Russell, Chief Executive of New East Manchester Ltd; Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council and Sir Howard Bernstein, Chief Executive of Manchester City Council
Manchester proposal
Manchester proposal

Manchester proposal
Manchester proposal
Stranraer casino proposal
Stranraer casino proposal

Stranraer waterfront
Stranraer waterfront

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