Area Guides - Glasgow
Glasgow, (/ˈɡlæzɡoʊ/, also UK: /ˈɡlɑːzɡoʊ, ˈɡlɑːsɡoʊ/,US: /ˈɡlæsɡoʊ, ˈɡlæskoʊ/; Scots: Glesca or Glesga [ˈɡlezɡə]; Scottish Gaelic: Glaschu [ˈkl̪ˠas̪əxu]) with an estimated city population of 633,120 in 2019, is the most populous city in Scotland and the fourth-most populous city in the United Kingdom (as of 2011), as well as being the 27th largest city by population in Europe. Historically part of Lanarkshire, the city now forms the Glasgow City council area, one of the 32 council areas of Scotland; the local authority is Glasgow City Council. Glasgow is situated on the River Clyde in the country’s West Central Lowlands. It is the fifth-most visited city in the United Kingdom.
Glasgow grew from a small rural settlement on the River Clyde to become the largest seaport in Scotland, and tenth largest by tonnage in Britain. Expanding from the medieval bishopric and royal burgh, and the later establishment of the University of Glasgow in the 15th century, it became a major centre of the Scottish Enlightenment in the 18th century. From the 18th century onwards, the city also grew as one of Great Britain’s main hubs of transatlantic trade with North America and the West Indies. With the onset of the Industrial Revolution, the population and economy of Glasgow and the surrounding region expanded rapidly to become one of the world’s pre-eminent centres of chemicals, textiles and engineering; most notably in the shipbuilding and marine engineering industry, which produced many innovative and famous vessels. Glasgow was the “Second City of the British Empire” for much of the Victorian era and Edwardian period, having taken the mantle from pre-independence Dublin, which was largely recognised the second city during the Georgian era although many other cities argue the title was theirs, not Glasgow’s.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Glasgow’s population grew rapidly, reaching a peak of 1,127,825 people in 1938. Comprehensive urban renewal projects in the 1960s resulted in large-scale relocation of people to designated new towns, such as Cumbernauld, Livingston, East Kilbride and peripheral suburbs, followed by successive boundary changes. This process reduced the population of the City of Glasgow council area to an estimated 626,410 in 2019, with 985,290 people living in the defined Greater Glasgow contiguous urban area as of 2016. The wider metropolitan area is home to over 1,800,000 people, equating to around 33% of Scotland’s population. The city has one of the highest densities of any locality in Scotland at 4,023/km2.
Glasgow hosted the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the first European Championships in 2018; and is also well known in the sporting world for football (particularly the Old Firm rivalry between Celtic and Rangers.
Glasgow has a diverse architectural scene, one of the key factors leading visitors to the city. From the city centre sprawling with grand Victorian buildings, to the many glass and metal edifices in the International Financial Services District to the serpentine terraces of blonde and red sandstone in the fashionable west end and the imposing mansions which make up Pollokshields, on the south side. The banks of the River Clyde are also dotted with a plethora of futuristic-looking buildings which include Riverside Museum, Glasgow Science Centre, the SSE Hydro and the SEC Armadillo.
After the Acts of Union in 1707, Scotland gained further access to the vast markets of the new British Empire, and Glasgow became prominent as a hub of international trade to and from the Americas, especially in sugar, tobacco, cotton, and manufactured goods. The city's Tobacco Lords created a deep water port at Port Glasgow on the Firth of Clyde, as the river within the city itself was then too shallow. By the late 18th century more than half of the British tobacco trade was concentrated on Glasgow's River Clyde, with over 47,000,000 lb (21,000 t) of tobacco being imported each year at its peak. At the time, Glasgow held a commercial importance as the city participated in the trade of sugar, tobacco and later cotton. The city invested heavily in roads infrastructure, with an extensive system of arterial roads and motorways that bisected the central area. There are also accusations that the Scottish Office had deliberately attempted to undermine Glasgow's economic and political influence in post-war Scotland by diverting inward investment in new industries to other regions during the Silicon Glen boom and creating the new towns of Cumbernauld, Glenrothes, Irvine, Livingston and East Kilbride, dispersed across the Scottish Lowlands to halve the city's population base. By the late 1980s, there had been a significant resurgence in Glasgow's economic fortunes. The "Glasgow's miles better" campaign, launched in 1983, and opening of the Burrell Collection in 1983 and Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in 1985 facilitated Glasgow's new role as a European centre for business services and finance and promoted an increase in tourism and inward investment. The latter continues to be bolstered by the legacy of the city's Glasgow Garden Festival in 1988, its status as European Capital of Culture in 1990, and concerted attempts to diversify the city's economy. However, it is the industrial heritage that serves as key tourism enabler. Wider economic revival has persisted and the ongoing regeneration of inner-city areas, including the large-scale Clyde Waterfront Regeneration, has led to more affluent people moving back to live in the centre of Glasgow, fuelling allegations of gentrification. In 2008, the city was listed by Lonely Planet as one of the world's top 10 tourist cities
Glasgow is located on the banks of the River Clyde, in West Central Scotland. Its second most important river is the Kelvin whose name was used in creating the title of Baron Kelvin and thereby ended up as the SI unit of temperature. On older maps Glasgow is shown within the area of the pre-1975 county of Lanarkshire; from 1975 to 1996 it appears within Strathclyde Region; more recent maps generally show
The city centre is bounded by Saltmarket, High Street and Castle Street to the east, Broomielaw and Clyde Street (along the River Clyde) to the south and Newton Street to the west. The northern boundary (from east to west) follows Cathedral Street, North Hanover Street, Dobbie's Loan and Phoenix Road. The city centre is composed of the areas of Garnethill, Blythswood Hill, and Merchant City as well as parts of Anderston, Calton, Cowcaddens and Townhead. The city centre is based on a grid system of streets on the north bank of the River Clyde. The heart of the city is George Square, site of many of Glasgow's public statues and the elaborate Victorian Glasgow City Chambers, headquarters of Glasgow City Council. To the south and west are the shopping precincts of Argyle Street, Sauchiehall Street and Buchanan Street, the last featuring more upmarket retailers and winner of the Academy of Urbanism "Great Street Award" 2008. The collection of shops around these streets accumulate to become known as "The Style Mile". Glasgow is home to a variety of theatres including the King's Theatre, the Theatre Royal and the Citizens Theatre and is home to many museums and art galleries, the largest and most famous being the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) and the Burrell Collection. Most of the museums and galleries in Glasgow are publicly owned and free to enter. The city has hosted many exhibitions over the years, including The Glasgow Garden Festival in 1988, being the UK City of Architecture 1999, European Capital of Culture 1990, National City of Sport 1995–1999 and European Capital of Sport 2003. Glasgow has also hosted the National Mòd no less than twelve times since 1895. In addition, unlike the older and larger Edinburgh Festival (where all Edinburgh's main festivals occur in the last three weeks of August), Glasgow's festivals fill the calendar. Festivals include the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art, Glasgow International Jazz Festival, Celtic Connections, Glasgow Fair, Glasgow Film Festival, West End Festival, Merchant City Festival, Glasgay, and the World Pipe Band Championships.
Glasgow has the largest economy in Scotland and is at the hub of the metropolitan area of West Central Scotland. Glasgow also has the third highest GDP Per capita of any city in the UK (after London and Edinburgh).[needs update] The city itself sustains more than 410,000 jobs in over 12,000 companies. Over 153,000 jobs were created in the city between 2000 and 2005 – a growth rate of 32%. Glasgow's annual economic growth rate of 4.4% is now second only to that of London. In 2005, over 17,000 new jobs were created, and 2006 saw private-sector investment in the city reaching £4.2 billion, an increase of 22% in a single year. 55% of the residents in the Greater Glasgow area commute to the city every day. Once dominant export orientated manufacturing industries such as shipbuilding and other heavy engineering have been gradually replaced in importance by more diversified forms of economic activity, although major manufacturing firms continue to be headquartered in the city, such as Aggreko, Weir Group, Clyde Blowers, Howden, Linn Products, Firebrand Games, William Grant & Sons, Whyte and Mackay, The Edrington Group, British Polar Engines and Albion Motors
Global-ship-management is carried out by maritime and logistics firms in Glasgow, in client companies employing over 100,000 seafarers. This reflects maritime skills over many decades and the training and education of deck officers and marine engineers from around the world at the City of Glasgow College, Nautical Campus, from which graduate around one third of all such graduates in the United Kingdom. The main operational dock within Glasgow operated by Clydeport is the King George V Dock, near Braehead. Since the advent of containerisation, most other facilities, such as Hunterston Terminal, are located in the deep waters of the Firth of Clyde, which together handle some 7.5 million tonnes of cargo each year. Longer distant commercial sea shipping from Glasgow occurs regularly to many European destinations, including Mediterranean and Baltic ports via passage through the Sea of the Hebrides. Leisure and tourist sailing is important, at marinas and towns of the Clyde, including the PS Waverley, the world's last operational seagoing paddle-steamer
The main M8 motorway passes around the city centre and connects with the M77, M74, M73 and M80 motorways, all of which pass within the city's boundaries. The A82 connects Glasgow to Argyll and the western Highlands. The M74 runs directly south towards Carlisle. Other strategic roads in the city include the East End Regeneration Route, which provides easier access to areas of the East End, linking the M8 to the extended M74.
The city has three international airports within 45 minutes travel of the city centre, as well as a centrally located seaplane terminal. Two are dedicated to Glasgow while the third is Edinburgh International which, as it is situated on the west side of Edinburgh, is relatively close to Glasgow. These airports are Glasgow Airport (GLA) (8 miles (10 km) west of the city centre) in Renfrewshire, Glasgow Prestwick Airport (PIK) (30 miles (50 km) south west) in Ayrshire, Edinburgh Airport (EDI), (34 miles (50 km) east) in Edinburgh and Glasgow Seaplane Terminal, by the Glasgow Science Centre on the River Clyde. There are also several smaller, domestic and private airports around the city. There is a heliport, Glasgow City Heliport, located at Stobcross Quay on the banks of the Clyde.
Glasgow is known for its tenements; the red and blond sandstone buildings are some of the most recognisable features of the city. These were the most popular form of housing in 19th- and 20th-century Glasgow, and remain the most common form of dwelling in Glasgow today. Tenements are commonly bought by a wide range of social types and are favoured for their large rooms, high ceilings and original period features. The Hyndland area of Glasgow became the first tenement conservation area in the UK and includes some tenement houses with as many as six bedrooms. Like many cities in the UK, Glasgow witnessed the construction of high-rise housing in tower blocks in the 1960s, along with large overspill estates on the periphery of the city, in areas like Pollok, Nitshill, Castlemilk, Easterhouse, Milton and Drumchapel. These were built to replace the decaying inner-city tenement buildings originally built for workers who migrated from the surrounding countryside, the Highlands, and the rest of the United Kingdom, particularly Ireland, to feed the local demand for labour. The massive demand at that time outstripped the pace of new building, and many originally fine tenements often became overcrowded and unsanitary
Glasgow is a major centre of higher and academic research, with the following universities and colleges within 10 miles (16 km) of the city centre:
- University of Glasgow
- University of Strathclyde
- Glasgow Caledonian University
- University of the West of Scotland
- The Glasgow School of Art
- Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
- City of Glasgow College
- Glasgow Clyde College
- Glasgow Kelvin College
- West College Scotland
In 2011 Glasgow had 53,470 full-time students aged 18–74 resident in the city during term time, more than any other city in Scotland and the fifth-largest in the United Kingdom outside London. The majority of those who live away from home reside in Shawlands, Dennistoun and the West End of the city.
The City Council operates 29 secondary schools, 149 primary schools and three specialist schools – the Dance School of Scotland, Glasgow School of Sport and the Glasgow Gaelic School (Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu), the only secondary school in Scotland to teach exclusively in Gaelic. Outdoor Education facilities are provided by the city council at the Blairvadach Centre, near Helensburgh. Jordanhill School is operated directly by the Scottish Government. Glasgow also has a number of Independent schools, including The High School of Glasgow, founded in 1124 and the oldest school in Scotland;Hutchesons’ Grammar School, founded in 1639 and one of the oldest school institutions in Britain; and others such as Craigholme School (closed 2020), Glasgow Academy, Kelvinside Academy and St. Aloysius’ College.
The world's first international football match was held in 1872 at the West of Scotland Cricket Club's Hamilton Crescent ground in the Partick area of the city. The match, between Scotland and England finished 0–0. Glasgow was the first city (since joined by Liverpool in 1985, Madrid in 1986, 2014, 2016 and 2018, Milan in 1994 and London in 2019) to have had two football teams in European finals in the same season: in 1967, Celtic competed in the European Cup final with rivals Rangers competing in the Cup Winners' Cup final. Rangers were the first football club from the United Kingdom to reach a European final, doing so in 1961. They have also won more domestic top-tier league titles than any other football club in the world (currently 55). Celtic were the first non-Latin club to win the European Cup, under the management of Jock Stein in 1967, before Manchester United the following year. Celtic also went on to reach another European Cup Final in 1970, losing to Feyenoord, and also the final of the UEFA Cup in 2003, where they lost an enthralling match which finished 3–2 to Portuguese club Porto. Rangers also reached the final of the same competition in 2008, where they lost to Zenit Saint Petersburg of Russia. Hampden Park, which is Scotland's national football stadium, holds the European record for attendance at a football match: 149,547 saw Scotland beat England 3–1 in 1937, in the days before leading British stadia became all-seated. Hampden Park has hosted the final of the UEFA Champions League on three occasions, most recently in 2002 and hosted the UEFA Cup Final in 2007. Celtic Park (60,411 seats) is located in the east end of Glasgow, and Ibrox Stadium (50,817 seats) on the south side. Glasgow has four professional football clubs, who all play in the SPFL: Celtic, Rangers, Partick Thistle, and Queen's Park (after their move from amateur status in November 2019). Prior to this, Glasgow had two other professional teams: Clyde (since moved to Cumbernauld) and Third Lanark (liquidated in 1967), plus four others active in the league in the 19th century: Thistle, Cowlairs, Northern and Linthouse. There are a number of West of Scotland Football League clubs within the city as well, such as Pollok, Maryhill, Benburb, Ashfield, Glasgow Perthshire F.C., Shettleston, and Petershill, plus numerous amateur teams. The history of football in the city, as well as the status of the Old Firm, attracts many visitors to football matches in the city throughout the season. The Scottish Football Association, the national governing body, and the Scottish Football Museum are based in Glasgow, as are the Scottish Professional Football League, Scottish Junior Football Association and Scottish Amateur Football Association. The Glasgow Cup was a once popular tournament, which was competed for by Rangers, Celtic, Clyde, Partick Thistle and Queen's Park. The competition is now played for by the youth sides of the five teams.