A SUMMIT on Sauchiehall Street has been called by Glasgow City Council in response to the extensive damage and disruption caused by the weekend’s School of Art blaze.

While decisions on the future of the building will need to be taken by Glasgow School of Art, council bosses have now begun planning for the next steps in dealing with the aftermath of the weekend’s fire.

Just months after Victoria’s Nightclub was destroyed shutting a section of the street for months another stretch will be closed and businesses hit.

Council leader, Susan Aitken, has announced that a taskforce will be set up early this week.

This working group will be comprised of local stakeholders and experts who can help inform Glasgow City Council on its long-term strategy for restoring the area.

As well as announcing the Sauchiehall Street taskforce, Ms Aitken also said that conversations should be happening now to decide what can be done to save the building.

Currently in what the council are calling the “emergency phase”, the incident will see increasing levels of involvement by council officials as the recovery stage of the clean-up process takes shape.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “Understandably, a lot of attention is focused on individual buildings at this stage.

“However, when the emergency response comes to an end, the council needs to be ready to consider the wider impact of the fire on the community – and Ms Aitken has already announced a plan to pull together a taskforce to manage a number of challenges over the coming weeks, months and years.

“This includes the immediate impact of road closures and safety cordons, but also the longer-term challenges for people who live, work and run businesses in the area. That work will get underway immediately.”

Business leaders said the street needs a plan of action.

Stuart Patrick, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce chief executive said: “This latest fire is an absolutely tragic event and a terrible blow to the Glasgow School of Art team after its hard work over the last four years, and we must not also forget the serious damage done to the O2ABC, which is a major contributor to Glasgow’s night-time economy.

“But it is also devastating for Sauchiehall Street in general at a time of serious change, due to a combination of the recent blaze at the other end of the street and the increasing onslaught of online shopping.

“The overall impact is doing major damage to one of the most important streets in the city centre. There is no doubt that Sauchiehall Street is taking a terrible pummeling.”

Despite the fire still being classed as an ongoing “emergency incident”, representatives and staff from Glasgow City Council have already visited the site over the weekend.

Firefighters are using thermal imaging cameras to identify any remaining hot spots at the scene of the fire that has gutted Glasgow’s world-renowned School of Art.

About 50 firefighters remain at the scene after working through the night to extinguish the blaze, which broke out on Friday night.

Officials from the council’s Building Control team were also at the School of Art on a number of occasions to try and ascertain early details on the future of the affected area.

A spokesman said: “Building Control were first called out in the early hours of Saturday morning and have attended regularly since, as part of a multi-agency response led, as you would expect, by the emergency services.

“Due to the nature of the incident, they have only been able to assess some of the damage from a distance so far. They will continue to do that and work with the emergency services and others in an effort to fully understand the condition of the buildings as soon as possible.

“In doing so, they have a responsibility to protect public safety – but, clearly, they are also well aware of the cultural significance of the buildings and their importance to people in the city and beyond. Property owners and managers will also have a role to play.”

Council leader Aitken added: “There will obviously be major disruption to roads in the surrounding city centre area, multi-agency teams are working to restore access as quickly as possible but I would urge people to stay away from the area and let the emergency services get on with their work.”

Around 50 firefighters and six fire engines alongside two high reach appliances were still at the scene yesterday.