Begging is a complex issue. Over recent years many cities in Scotland have experienced an increase in begging, and Glasgow has been no exception.  Begging has a significant life impact on vulnerable individuals as well as on wider society.  It is a multi-faceted issue and requires innovative, integrated partnership working to deliver sustainable solutions and interventions.

The Glasgow Begging Strategy was developed by a Short Life Working Group (SLWG) which was established by Glasgow City Council’s City Centre Strategy Board as a multi-partner forum. Chaired by Councillor Allan Casey, the SLWG comprised a wide range of public sector agencies, third sector groups, and private businesses and business networks. Importantly, people with lived (or personal) experience of street begging were involved in the development of the Glasgow Begging Strategy and will continue to be involved in its implementation going forward.

In September 2020, Glasgow City Council’s City Administration Committee approved the Glasgow Begging Strategy for a 6-week public consultation. The feedback from this exercise was used to inform the strategy document, and a revised version was formally approved by the City Administration Committee in March 2021.


The Glasgow Begging Strategy identifies three strategic objectives:

  1. To support people on the street who are begging
  2. To reduce the need for people to have to beg
  3. To provide cash-alternatives for people who wish to support vulnerable individuals

The Glasgow Begging Strategy has been framed around four Key Projects in order to deliver these strategic objectives.

  1. Alternative Giving
  2. Financial and Digital Inclusion Services
  3. Environmental Strategy
  4. Public Perceptions

During the development of the Glasgow Begging Strategy, it was recommended that some actions should commence at the earliest opportunity and in advance of formal document approval. Accordingly, delivery of the Financial and Digital Inclusion Services, and the Alternative Giving Key Projects were expedited.

The Alternative Giving Key Project (Street Change Glasgow) was formally launched with the installation of the first contactless donation point in Glasgow Central Station in March 2020. Managed by Simon Community Scotland, the Street Change Glasgow initiative is a citywide response to begging and rough sleeping and is the first of its kind in Scotland.

Street Change Glasgow has been designed alongside people with lived experience and is open and transparent in how funding is disbursed to those seeking support. The initiative is a result of a significant collaboration between citizens, business, communities, and organisations, working together to help develop creative solutions, and deliver support and opportunities to those who need it most.

The Financial and Digital Inclusion Services Key Project commenced in 2018/19. Funded by both Glasgow City Council and Simon Community Scotland, it seeks to ensure that vulnerable users have access to their maximum benefit entitlement whilst also investigating ways to increase their access to key services, including:

  • Employment
  • Housing
  • Skills training and development
  • Other meaningful activity
  • Other tailored services appropriate to the individual

The Environmental Strategy Key Project is designed to increase street safety and encourage positive uses of public space, and will explore options which:

  • Encourage businesses to take a more proactive approach to securing vacant unit shopfronts
  • Reduce negative use of space through effective street design e.g. Secured by Design
  • De-clutter unnecessary street furniture

The Public Perceptions Key Project will seek to raise awareness and change behaviours so that members of the public:

  • Can understand and access existing support services
  • Can access information about what they can do to help and how to do it
  • Remain informed of key issues
  • Are aware of alternative options for public donations

This activity will also align with aspects of the Alternative Giving Key Project, through which the Street Change Glasgow initiative will endeavour to:

  • Change negative public perceptions about begging and provide positive narratives
  • Obtain buy-in and develop partnership working with businesses and city entrepreneurs


An outline Action Plan has been included within the Glasgow Begging Strategy to provide an overview of the initial outputs. As a “living” document, the Glasgow Begging Strategy is intended to continue to develop and evolve according to the needs of the local community and its most vulnerable members.

A Project Management Group has been created to oversee and coordinate project delivery against the outline Action Plan. Reporting and governance mechanisms have also been established to ensure open and transparent communication on progress achieved throughout the agreed lifetime of the project, with quarterly reporting to a Steering Group and annual reporting to the Wellbeing, Empowerment, Community & City Engagement City Policy Committee (WECCE).


The Glasgow Begging Strategy was developed by a working group which included such influential and important stakeholders as Big Issue, British Transport Police (BTP), City Centre Retail Association (CCRA), Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership (GCHSCP), Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Glasgow City Council, Glasgow City Missions, Homeless Network Scotland, Marie Trust, National Health Service Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Police Scotland, Simon Community Scotland, and Turning Point Scotland.

It is hoped that the range and scope of project partners will continue to increase as activity progresses, through public sector agencies, third sector groups, and private business networks. Particular emphasis will be given to local community groups that want to become involved, especially given their knowledge and understanding of local issues and the impacts they can have.


The Street Change Glasgow Ambassador programme provides an opportunity for people and organisations to become involved and help support project delivery.

Further information about Street Change Glasgow can be found via the project website:


A copy of the current version of the Glasgow Begging Strategy can be accessed here:

Enquiries about the Glasgow Begging Strategy can be made to:




As part of the Glasgow City Region City Deal funding, approximately £115 million is being invested in Glasgow city centre to deliver the “Avenues” programme, which will result in a transformation of the city centre’s streetscape and public realm – making it more “people-friendly”, more attractive, greener, more sustainable and more economically competitive.

Glasgow City Council has also secured an additional £21 million from Sustrans that will enable the delivery of an additional four Avenue projects. These projects will allow the Council to deliver on a key recommendation made as part of the recent Connectivity Commission: The acceleration and expansion of the Avenues programme into other areas of the city.

The project will deliver a key strategic objective of the City Centre Strategy and Action Plan 2014-19: an integrated network of continuous pedestrian and cycle routes across the city centre.

Design and construction work is being phased over the period 2018 to 2028. Construction work began with the Sauchiehall Street “pilot” Avenue in 2018 and was completed in 2019.

Community Benefits

The EIIPR programme is essentially a quality place-making scheme that will transform 21 key streets and adjacent areas (or “Avenues”) in Glasgow city centre, through the introduction of an improved external environment that will rebalance traffic modes, introduce green and SMART infrastructure, and place “people” firmly at the heart of the project vision and design strategy. 

The ambitious project aims to transform the face of the city for all those who live, work and visit.  It will see key Glasgow city-centre streets redesigned to protect and prioritise space for cyclists and pedestrians, improve connectivity, introduce sustainable green infrastructure through attractive streetscapes and enhancing biodiversity and improve the way public transport is accommodated.  

The improvements include:

  • Increased pedestrian / cycle space
  • Continuous footways
  • Segregated cycle lanes
  • Green/Blue Infrastructure
  • Reduced street clutter
  • Intelligent Street Lighting (ISL) and improved lighting features


The current projects are listed below:

  • The Underline (Cambridge Street and New City Road)
  • Argyle St West (M8 – Hope St)
  • Sauchiehall St Precinct
  • Argyle Street East
  • St Enoch’s Square & Dixon Street
  • North Hanover Street & Kyle Street
  • Cathedral Street & Bath Street
  • Holland Street & Pitt Street
  • Elmbank St & Elmbank Crescent
  • Glassford Street & Stockwell Street
  • Broomielaw & Clyde St
  • George Square
  • Dundas Street & Dundas Lane
  • John Street
  • St Vincent Street & Place
  • Hanover Street & Miller Street
  • George St
  • IFSD West
  • Hope St & Oswald St
  • Cowcaddens Road
  • Duke St & John Knox St
  • Dobbie’s Loan
  • South Portland St
Lane Activation Fund

Lane Activation Fund

Lane Activation Fund

The Lane Activation Fund (LAF) has been established to help activate and enhance the city centre lanes and is an important stimulus for animating our vibrant city centre. It has been created to enable businesses and communities to work with artists and creative industries to develop activity in the lanes whilst inviting residents and visitors to think about lanes more positively.

The LAF will fund temporary projects/events in the lane such as festival style projects or pop-ups that bring people to the lane and promote collaboration with the creative industries or bring economic opportunities to local businesses. Enlivening the lanes through greenery will also be considered. The grant is a maximum of £5,000.

Proposals are accepted online and will be reviewed within 20 working days. Applications should be sent in by the first Tuesday of each calendar month.

As this is a pilot, the LAF will be available for 2 years before being evaluated.
Full application guidelines and forms can be found here:

City Centre Economic Healthcheck

City Centre Economic Healthcheck

City Centre Economic Healthcheck

The objective of the City Centre Health Check is to track the impact of economic activity in the city centre and to provide a baseline from which future performance can be benchmarked. It is a bi-annual progress report on how the city centre is performing against a range of indicators including footfall, cleanliness, vacancy rates, planning and development and tourism.

The twenty-first edition of the health check was produced in April 2019 and covered the period July to December 2018. The current edition is dated November 2019.

Some highlights:

  • Average headline/overall footfall has increased
  • Crime/ASB figures have declined overall
  • Average vacancy rates have remained stable since the last edition

Download the current Health Check here or click the image (file opens in a new tab).  Previous editions of the Health Check can be found at

The next edition will be due in April 2020