31 August 2023

Monthly update from Susan Deighan - August

Headshot of a smiling person in an office. They are wearing glasses and a large colourful necklace.

We are heading towards the end of what has been the most spectacular summer of events in Glasgow since the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

I don’t say that lightly because every year Glasgow Life is at the heart of amazing experiences for people who live here and for the visitors who come to the city in search of world beating culture and sport.

The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championship showed again why Glasgow is a trusted partner for major events organisers around the world, and how our teams create unforgettable occasions.

We saw the power of the bike time and again during the championships, and welcoming 500,000 people to Glasgow to spectate is a huge achievement.

From the track events at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome and the BMX in Knightswood to the thrilling road race events to the performances in George Square, Calton and Barrowfield as part of the Go Live programme, the city was alive with cycling activity.

Thank you to everyone who was involved in such a spectacular occasion and for showing the world again why Glasgow is a wonderful host city.

It was brilliant to meet so many of you while I was out and about and seeing how much the crowds were enjoying it.

We also waved farewell to BANKSY and the exhibition Cut & Run which welcomed 180,000 visitors across 10 weeks at the Gallery of Modern Art.

The daily queues outside GoMA for walk-up tickets were all the comment needed about how popular this exhibition was. It has been a huge success for everyone at GoMA.

Alongside the cycling, these have been 2 outstanding adverts for the city that Glasgow Life has been delivering.

Of course, while all of this is going on, we don’t stop work on the core events and services that people rely on.

It was fantastic to see 35,000 people, around 190 bands and on-line viewers across the globe enjoy the spectacle of the World Pipe Band Championships at Glasgow Green.

This is the 75th anniversary of the event first being held in Glasgow, and we’ve hosted The Worlds every year since 1986.

It is a great event that helped build our ability to host world events and this year everyone involved made it as special as ever.

All of these great occasions take lots of planning and preparation and sometimes are years in the making.

At the end of August, Glasgow City Council approved fundraising plans for the refurbishment of the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens.

An application has been made to the National Lottery Heritage Fund and we will be working with other partners to secure all the money needed to revitalise this Glasgow landmark.

It is another step towards the start of what will be a huge transformation after months of hard work and I’m grateful to all those involved.

Last week I was at Gorbals Library where 22 photos taken in the 1960s by Oscar Marzaroli are now on permanent display.

The images are of the people of the area going about their daily lives just as this part of Glasgow was about to undergo dramatic transformation.

The Crown Street Camera Collective, assisted by visual artist Bash Khan, have taken contemporary images of the area in response which are also on display in the library.

This is such a good example of how Glasgow Life Libraries not only serve their local areas but also become the heart of their communities.

Finally, I’d like to encourage everyone to take part in the Glasgow Life Colleague Feedback Survey, which will open next week.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been updating you on the actions taken in response to the 2022 survey.

You can find more information on the intranet on the commitments and progress made.

Please take the time to give your opinions. It is anonymous and vital to help us ensure Glasgow Life continues to be a great place to work.

Thank you




Susan Deighan

Chief Executive