Plan to mark site of Glasgow fire disaster included in bid for budget hostel

A permanent marker to commemorate the site of one of Scotland’s worst peacetime fire service disasters could be created as part of plans to develop a budget 66-bed hostel.

Glasgow City Council has received an application seeking permission to change the use of a former nursery building on Warroch Street.

Plans indicate that the buildings at the north end of Warroch Street and Cheapside Street are “partly a surviving remnant” of the Cheapside Street Whiskey Bond fire of March 1960.

The tragedy saw 14 members of the Glasgow Fire Service and five men from the Glasgow Salvage Corps killed in a massive explosion as they fought a fire at a warehouse containing over a million gallons of whisky.

A memorial already exists in the Glasgow Necropolis, but a permanent marker to commemorate the site of the disaster could be installed as part of plans by owner Saqib Deen, of Apexx Investments Ltd, who wants to offer “a competitive alternative to hotels in the region”.

He currently intends to use the name “Finnieston Hostel”, with a design based on the nearby Finnieston Crane.

The application, submitted by ZM Architecture on behalf of the owner, stated: “This will be a good quality offering with a contemporary, lean and competitive business model based on successful operations across the UK.

“Bespoke accommodation will be supported by en-suite showers and toilets, with on-site storage, laundry facilities, a small wellness sauna suite and basic self-service food services.

“The design concept picks up the location of Finnieston Crane’s proposal as a local landmark.”

The property, at 27 Warroch Street, served as a private nursery, with a small interconnecting office used by an advertising and promotion agency.

If the hostel plan is approved, the building will be open 24/7 with controlled entry and security badges for guests.

“The project will be sustainable, innovative and imaginative with an identifiable character,” the plans reveal.

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‘It will provide overnight accommodation for the budget traveler and the location is ideal for clients traveling to Glasgow for SEC and Hydro events or weekends of outdoor activities on a budget .

“It will provide a competitive alternative to hotels in the area.”

They continued: “The applicant has limited clear ownership of parts of the ground floors, but the proposed Warroch Street entrance will be clearly defined by a new contemporary hooded canopy over the door, which will incorporate a signal element and will provide shelter.”