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Scottish practices cross their fingers as Glasgow becomes new favourite to host 2014 Commonwealth Games

Glasgow could be in line for a dramatic architectural and financial boost after it emerged that the city is among the final two shortlisted in the race to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The Scottish city is now firm favourite to host the event following the withdrawal of Halifax, Canada, over budget concerns.

Glasgow's only rival is Nigeria's capital, Abuja.

Hosting the Games would give Glasgow a massive boost in terms of construction and employment, and if the London 2012 Games are an example, it would bring the possibility of billions of pounds being invested in the city.

Alan Dunlop, of Gordon Murray & Alan Dunlop Architects, said: 'It was generally accepted that Halifax was Glasgow's [main] opposition for the Games. From what I've seen of the Abuja bid they have a problem with infrastructure now that the Games body seems to be demanding Olympic-standard facilities.

'As for the architecture, our practice would hope to have a crack at designing needed buildings, and we don't see why that would not be the case, as we're now one of the biggest practices in Scotland.'

He added: 'We were shortlisted for a new velodrome in Ireland before the plug was pulled on it, but the Irish obviously had confidence we could do it, so I don't see why our own city would be any less confident in our ability.'

RMJM's Glasgow office is already involved with the bid, working on the Commonwealth Games Village masterplan (pictured) situated in Dalmarnock, east Glasgow, and says it is delighted by the news.

Practice director Alistair Brand said: 'It certainly ups the percentage, and we've felt that Halifax would be the strongest opposition. We're very pleased by the news, and Glasgow has taken the bid very seriously from the start.

'Dalmarnock is in desperate need of regeneration, and hopefully, with the race coming down to two, it will have that chance. It all depends on the bid decision in November - they may decide to go with Abuja, as it would be good for an African country, but we'll have to wait and see.'

Meanwhile a raft of other practices, such as Reid Architecture, which is designing a new velodrome for the Commonwealth Games, are also keeping their fingers crossed that the selection panel will plump for Scotland.

by Richard Vaughan

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