The National Arena – a new £12 million, 12,000-seater venue due to host the gymnastics and netball finals, and the international broadcast centre during CG2014 – has received a £40 million bail-out to avoid “mothballing” and financial collapse by the City Council.
Elphinstone Group originally planned to build 1600 homes, helping part-finance the project, but the firm pulled out due to the impact of the recession on property markets. No wonder: “It is likely to have been carefully watching how property sales along the Clyde have been progressing” (Gerry Braiden, 21st May, The Herald).
A report to the council’s executive committee admitted that finding an alternative buyer is not realistic in the current funding market for a residential development of this scale; yet the City Council expect us to accept that the bail-out is, “a smart move and an asset opportunity for the authority”.
This is yet another example of the public bailing out the failing private sector property market, and the spectacle of the already massively overbudget Commonwealth Games, while at the same time public budgets are being slashed on an almost unimaginable scale, with dire effects on workers and services.
It’s time to fight back.