Comment: Walk this way

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About 18 months ago, I worked with organisations across the constituency to discuss the best ways to attract tourists to the area.

Out of the initial discussions a group Southside Routes was born and I’m delighted to be able to update you with some of the great work that they have been doing and its ambitious plans for the future.

Glasgow is undoubtedly full of wonders for people to see when they visit. The Southside is brimming with many great places for tourists.

Whether it’s our cafes, bars and restaurants, or the many heritage and historical wonders that lie South of the river — such as Holmwood House, the village of Carmunnock, the site of the Battle of Langside, Hampden Park or Pollok Park, to name but a few — there’s plenty to see and do.

Bringing more people to the Southside means more money being spent in our local area, and that can only be a positive thing for us all.

However there is a feeling amongst many that we don’t promote enough places to visit outwith the city centre. I had a productive meeting with Scott Taylor from The City Marketing Bureau to discuss the ways that they could promote the great tourist attractions that we have South of the river.

I’m delighted that the new tourist maps produced by the bureau include the Southside of the city for the first time.

Southside Routes has also been awarded £5,000 from the Association of Community Rail Partnerships and Abellio who have recently taken over the ScotRail Franchise.

This money will be used to design a website and social media presence on Facebook and Twitter. It will also be used to design a leaflet and map of the Southside focussing on the Cathcart Circle, Barrhead Line and Paisley Canal line and what there is to see within easy access of train stations in the area.

Abelio have also begun to advertise places of interest on their departure boards at Central Station, including Holmwood House as a place to visit on the Cathcart Circle.

And whilst these plans are coming together nicely, the group is ambitious about what it wants to achieve in the future with plans for bigger maps of local attractions in train and subway stations and continuing to promote attractions on the Southside.

I am also starting to put in place my annual summer walkabout programme which I have run in conjunction with community councils and constituency organisations over the past four years.

We usually arrange for the council, police, community safety and any other bodies if required to come and have a walk around an area and action improvements to be made.

If you want to look at having one in your local area, or have any other issues that you want to raise with me, please contact my office on 0141 632 523.