The fortunes of Glasgow city centre have very much been in focus in the aftermath of the pandemic.

While much has naturally been written and debated about the city’s problems, from tackling the many empty store units to the poor physical condition of many streets, some green shoots are beginning to emerge that are worthy of attention. I devoted two of my columns in The Herald in May to spotlight why people who live, work and spend time in Glasgow for leisure may find some hope for the future.

The first concerned planning consent given, at the second asking, for a new student accommodation project in the former Marks & Spencer store on Sauchiehall Street.

In isolation, the fact council chiefs were “minded to grant” the proposal by developer Fusion Student may not sound like a big deal. But the project “may point the way to a brighter future for a troubled part of Glasgow city centre”, which has suffered badly from the pandemic and the loss of several big-name retailers.

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The piece outlined “several reasons why this is good news for Glasgow and particularly at this juncture”, from the importance of providing student accommodation to boosting hard-pressed businesses by stimulating footfall. The Fusion project was not held up by the article as the solution to the city’s woes, but a “step in the right direction” that could be part of the long-term solution.

Part of that solution could be the city’s office accommodation. Research carried out by CoStar Group, the property industry analyst, pointed to a resurgence in demand for prime office space in Bothwell Street, a key part of the International Financial Services District (IFSD). According to the research, three high-profile companies – PwC, RSM, and Edrington – collectively committed to nearly 40,000 square feet of space on the street in the first three months of the year. It took the total amount of space leased on the street to 140,000 sq ft over a 12-month period.

The fact major employers have committed themselves to significant bricks and mortar operations could be seen as a vote of confidence in the city, and a fillip for many businesses that rely on passing trade. It is also an acknowledgement of the pipeline of talent the city’s academic institutions and other companies provide, recently cited by JPMorgan Chase as a key reason for its investment in new hub on Argyle Street, in the heart of the IFSD.

Also last month I wrote about the fortunes of the tourism industry and whether it can begin to look forward following the travails arising from the pandemic. Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed the number of international visitors who came to Scotland in 2023 exceeded the amount in 2019, the year before the pandemic struck.

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Malcolm Roughead, outgoing CEO of VisitScotland, said the findings of the 2023 International Passengers Survey by the ONS showed the industry had reached a “turning point” on its road to recovery. However, tourism continues to face challenges in the domestic market – in other words people who live in the UK embarking on day trips and holidays in Scotland, which is still the biggest part of the sector.

Figures for the home tourism market for 2023 have still to be released, but the latest domestic sentiment tracker from VisitScotland, published in May, provided a useful snapshot on the current state of play.

Based on data collected from fieldwork between February and April this year, the report found the cost of living is continuing to strongly influence domestic trip taking, with no clear changes as to the personal impact it is having on people.

It suggested there has been some improvement in terms of perceptions of the crisis. However, the report found more than half of the UK population anticipate concerns over finances will impact trip intentions, as people look to spend less on eating out, choose cheaper accommodation, and look for more free things to do.

Finally, I reported on a bittersweet moment for Bridge of Allan-based Angels’ Share Glass, an award-winning Scottish glassware company which makes products for the whisky industry and giftware market.

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Karen Somerville, who-founded the firm with her late father Tom Young, made the decision to cease trading after “11 remarkable years”.Ms Somerville stated the passing of her father in May last year has “left a large hole in our lives and in the business”.

She wrote: “We all miss him dreadfully. With new, exciting opportunities on the horizon for me, it was the natural time to take stock. As a team, we have achieved so many of our goals and while the decision to close Angels’ Share Glass has not been taken lightly, I felt it was important to go out on a high.”