Whatever happened to GEAR?

Orton, Ian (1982) Whatever happened to GEAR? Quarterly Economic Commentary, 7 (3). pp. 27-30. ISSN 0306-7866

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    In 1981, in the wake of the summer's violence and rioting, the British public rediscovered the Inner City together with its problems. Ironically perhaps, during the same year, the Glasgow Eastern Area Renewal Project (GEAR), the product of a previous British government's interest in the Inner City was close to celebrating its fifth year of existence. Claimed at the time to be one of Europe's biggest urban renewal projects GEAR received all the publicity that a government straining to suppress the advances of the then rampant SNP could muster. The project was to receive substantial capital sums, would involve the then nascent Scottish Development Agency (SDA), indeed this would be its first major project, and in addition would offer a co-ordinated multi-agency approach to confront what was considered to be a multi-faceted problem. In addition to the SDA, which assumed the role of overall co-ordinator, Strathclyde Regional Council, Glasgow District Council, the Scottish Special Housing Association, and the Greater Glasgow Health Board were all heavily involved. This brief paper appraises the success of GEAR to date and its future prospects.