THERE are three strands in Glasgow society which often butt against each other - the public, the council, and business.

But when they do come together then they can achieve great things.

One of the greatest just now is the co-operation which is slowly seeing the creation of an inspiring new Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice on what is now a cleared site near the ski slope in Bellahouston Park. You might have seen the news footage last week of the petite Glasgow actress Laura Fraser, who had a pivotal role in the popular American television series Breaking Bad, wielding a silver-coloured spade to break the ground where council greenhouses used to be - from Breaking Bad to breaking ground was the hook to attract the media coverage.

Although Laura is a Glaswegian, her work in television took her to New York where she was painted by Glasgow artist Gerard Burns, who donated canvasses to raise money for the new hospice. Rhona Baillie, chief executive of the hospice was in New York for the exhibition of Gerard's work, met Laura, gave the actress her business card, and asked if she could help the hospice. Laura e-mailed Rhona the next day and asked what she could do. So on her return to Glasgow she was asked to break the ground at the hospice site, and thus help publicise the Brick By Brick Appeal to raise the £21m need to build the new facility.

It is by keeping the appeal in the public eye that the fund-raising can continue to attract donors. The money raised from members of the public running, baking, or other feats of fund-raising are important. But so too are businesses. We all know that London is a magnet for big business, so Rhona also travelled to the capital where she met Bill Smith chairman of Lazard Asset Management, a company that invests billions around the world. "You've got five minutes - pitch to me," said Bill. Rhona, "a wee lassie from Glasgow" as she describes herself, took a gulp then told him about the plans for the hospice. After three minutes Bill interrupted her and said: "You've got me." He became chairman of the Brick By Brick Appeal in London, and opened the doors to all the Scottish business leaders down south, asking for their help.

The original hospice was the idea of Dr Anne Gilmore in 1980 when she began fundraising. She soon approached Glasgow Council for help where Lord Provost Michael Kelly was struggling with what the council could give Charles and Diana as a wedding gift. In those recessionary times, a gold-plated tea set would not have gone down well with the populace. The council's estates department came up with three adjoining disused properties on the banks of the Clyde in Glasgow at Carlton Place. The palace was contacted, and officials there agreed that the royal couple would accept a hospice as a gift.

All that was needed was money to convert them. Sir Hugh Fraser, the well-known stores boss, was asked if his Fraser Foundation could give some cash. Hugh picked up his phone and called south side businessman David Walton who was also in charge of a family charitable fund. "I'll give £50,000 if you give the same," said Sir Hugh. "It's a deal," replied David.

But it was not just business that was putting its hand in its pocket. The fund-raising touched the public who also gave what they could. Some do so because of the care that their family received in their last days at the hospice. You may have read in the Herald yesterday of Steven Phillips who has raised more than £20,000 after his wife died of cancer soon after giving birth to their son. She died in her husband's arms in the hospice.

The Carlton Place premises though are not a place of sadness. At the ground-breaking ceremony I bump into Alan Tomkins one of Glasgow's leading restaurateurs who also fundraises for the appeal. "Have you ever been there?" he asks. "The care and affection given by the staff, and the sheer joy in the place, which is hard to explain, has made it one of the most memorable places I've ever visited."

Lord Provost Sadie Docherty is also at the ceremony, and gives away her age by recalling when part of the Carlton Place premises was the Stella Maris Club, which provided accommodation for foreign sailors, and a dance night which local girls were invited to, and many a wild night was had. But I'm sure that's not what Sadie was recalling.

The links with the council continue today. The land at Bellahouston Park for the new building will be leased from the council for a pound a year. the local health board helps provide £2m a year in running costs.

The plans for the new building will have16 private en-suite bedrooms with private terraces and open plan kitchens. The accommodation will allow patients and families the opportunity to eat together. The aim is to provide more space, independence and privacy to allow greater opportunity for normal family activity.

The new hospice's commitment to the palliative care of young people will also include specialised accommodation to meet their particular needs, including family bedrooms, family lounges, social areas, therapy rooms, spa bathrooms, and a hydrotherapy pool.

As day patient Frances McGreevy explains: "I have cancer - but it doesn't have me. The hospice has helped me to realise that. My hospice days are the best days of the week. They understand me and the therapies leave me feeling like a new person. They saved my sanity."

So far £14m of the £21m for the new facility has been raised. Brick by brick, pound by pound, they will raise the rest. Folk say that Glaswegians are passionate about football, booze, and perhaps politics. But the passion of everyone coming together to build the new hospice is the passion that the city can really be proud of when it finally opens.