Red Road flats to be demolished as part of Games opener

The Red Road flats
The Red Road flats

The iconic Red Road flats will be blown up live during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.

Five of the six remaining blocks, at one time the tallest residential structures in Europe, will be brought down in just 15 seconds and be the biggest demolition of its kind ever seen in Europe.

The event will be beamed live into a 100 metre-wide screen at Celtic Park during the opening ceremony on July 23.

An estimated television audience of more than one billion people around the world will also bear witness as the 30-storey blocks fall to the ground, transforming the city’s skyline forever.

The blocks, built in the 1960s in Balornock, were originally due to be demolished over the next two years. However, owners Glasgow Housing Association, was keen to explore the possibility of bringing five down at once to minimise the number of times residents had to be evacuated.

One block – 33 Petershill Court – is currently used to house asylum seekers and will come down later.

Organisers say the blow-down will “serve as an unforgettable statement of how Glasgow is confidently embracing the future and changing for the better” and “to serve as a respectful recognition and celebration of the role the Red Road flats have played in shaping the lives of thousands of city families for whom these flats have simply been home over five decades”.

GHA chairman Gordon Sloan said: “The Red Road flats were very popular in their day and hold a special place in many people’s hearts.

“But they are just no longer viable as modern homes and GHA made the decision to demolish them as part of the wider regeneration of the north of Glasgow.”

Local residents living in 887 homes nearby the Red Road site will be temporarily evacuated during the event and will be invited to join in the Commonwealth Games opening celebrations.