Merchant City

As Glasgow grew in the 18th and early 19th Century there was a move away from the traditional communities of Saltmarket and Bridgegate and new developments west of High Street were undertaken. The First New Town, extending as far as Buchanan Street was unplanned but still maintained a consistent rectangular design. As the merchants moved westward so the First New Town became a centre for warehouses, banks and public buildings and the Second New Town, which started in Buchanan Street, was the home for these merchants. The area continued to thrive until 1969, when the fruit market moved out of the city centre to purpose built premises to the north, taking most of the workers from the area. This led to a decline in the importance of the area and buildings were left empty and deteriorating. Since 1969, many millions of pound have been spent by Glasgow District Council, the Scottish Development Agency and the Glasgow Development Agency to upgrade the area and have managed to restore much of the glory to the Merchant City, returning it to its former use as a residential centre with various business enterprises.

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