The Scottish High Street

Looking for something to do over the break? Anywhere near Glasgow? The why not pop in to The Lighthouse on Mitchell Lane off Buchanan Street?

The Lighthouse is one of the only centres in the world that is equally dedicated to architecture and design. Its definition of design includes graphic, product and industrial, interior, fashion, textiles, jewellery and digital design with architecture relating to the built environment, from buildings and planning to landscape design.It was opened in July 1999, by HM Queen Elizabeth, after a £13 million ($20 million) conversion, which transformed Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s derelict 1895 Glasgow Herald newspaper office into Scotland’s first, dedicated, national centre for architecture and design.

And on now, until the 17th April 2012 is an exhibition on Scotland’s High Streets.

Obviously highly topical given the Portas Review and the worries about vacancies and the scale or not of Christmas shopping, the exhibition asks:

“Do we really value our High Streets or are they simply past their sell by date? With vacancies up and shopper numbers down is it time to re-think? In Scotland the High Street began as a market place, a hub of social activity – busy, raucous and messy. This exhibition shows their evolution, our changing shops and shopping habits and the impact this has had today. Specially commissioned films gather people’s stories of the High Street, from butchers and bakers to professors and planners. It looks to the future with remedies that make our High Streets good value, vital in creating unique and thriving places.”

Now you will have to put up with a few seconds (mercifully brief – honest) of me in one of the films, but if you can get past that, then various people discuss what high streets mean for them and what we can do to re-energise and re-imagine them. There is also a look back, and a look at, Scottish high streets in numbers and films and various artefacts to stimulate discussion.

What’s more, the exhibition is free – though there is a nice shop on the ground floor, a cafe on the fifth floor and a panoramic view of Glasgow from the top of the building. Blow away those Christmas cobwebs and help us think about high streets at the same time.

The Lighthouse
11 Mitchell Lane
Glasgow G1 3NU

About Leigh Sparks

I am Professor of Retail Studies at the Institute for Retail Studies, University of Stirling, where I research and teach aspects of retailing and retail supply chains, alongside various colleagues. I am Chair of Scotland's Towns Partnership. I am also a Deputy Principal of the University, with responsibility for Internationalisation and Graduate Studies.
This entry was posted in Consumer Change, Design, Heritage, High Streets, Scotland's Town and High Streets and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Scottish High Street

  1. Pingback: Wanted? Town Centre Truth and Reconciliation Committees | Stirlingretail

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