Just the job!

THRIVING shops, cleaner streets and improved parking are some of the plans for Shawlands after a group of businesses vowed to breathe new life into the town.

Members of the newly-formed Shawlands Business Association will hold their first meeting next Thursday as they try to kick-start much needed regeneration.

And they are urging business owners, managers and landlords to get involved.

Chairman Barry Young, of Young’s Interesting Books in Skirving Street, said: “This is an exciting, culturally-diverse and ambitious area.

“We must work together to help regenerate the town centre, bring back customers and make Shawlands the heart of the southside again.

“There is a real desire among local businesses to improve the centre and we need investment and fresh ideas to get back to where we should be.

“More importantly it needs local business owners, managers and landlords to work together, to have a single voice and make change happen”.

Over the last few months local traders have been working with Glasgow city council and the local regeneration agency to develop the SBA.

GCC is devising a Shawlands Town Centre Action Plan and completed a customer survey last year to find out what people want from the area.

Councillor Archie Graham, chairman of the Shawlands town centre steering group, said: “It is a unique place in Glasgow and one of the busiest social centres on the southside.

“We need to make full use of the area’s many attractions, from the thriving restaurants and nightlife to Queen’s Park.

“It is vital local businesses interested in contributing to the development of Shawlands centre come to the meeting”.

Irene Fletcher, of Martin Fletcher Opticians, vice-chairwoman of the SBA, said: “We are extremely keen to play our part in shaping this and telling them what improvements we think would make a real difference.

“However we need all of the 190 businesses in Shawlands to get involved and play their part in making change happen”.

Barry (49) added: “We simply cannot sit back and expect the customers to come to Shawlands when there is strong competition from other retail centres and the internet.

“We need to make the area more attractive, welcoming and friendly and build on the fantastic attractions like niche shops, bars, restaurants, cafes and, of course, Queen’s Park”.

The launch night is at Shawlands Academy next Thursday at 7pm.