East Renfrewshire town centres to benefit from funding boost

The planned list of projects includes spending �300,000 on intelligent lighting for Barrhead's Main Street.
The planned list of projects includes spending �300,000 on intelligent lighting for Barrhead's Main Street.

Town centres across East Renfrewshire are set to benefit from just under £1m of investment.

Councillors will be asked to approve handing out the Scottish Government funding when they meet on Thursday.

The planned list of projects includes spending £300,000 on intelligent lighting for Barrhead’s Main Street and surrounding areas. 

The council hopes installing the lights will improve public safety, lead to easier maintenance and bring environmental benefits by reducing energy consumption.

There has been £200,000 allocated towards making access and infrastructure improvements at Capelrig Road and Fairweather Park, in Newton Mearns, as well as to enhance facilities in the park.

The report states the works could raise awareness of the wider Newton Mearns town centre as a shopping and leisure destination. 

Funds would go towards ground works, new paths and benches in preparation for a new play park in 2020/21, designed by the community.

Another £200,000 has been set aside for winter lighting at various locations throughout East Renfrewshire. 

It would cover “all main shopping centres in an inclusive way, forming a recognisable East Renfrewshire identity”. It is hoped the move would make town centres “more attractive” during the winter season.

In March this year, the Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities announced a £50 million fund for improving town centres. This has been shared between the country’s 32 local authorities.

East Renfrewshire has received £981,000, which must be repaid if it is not used in this financial year.

“To ensure a collaborative approach, an initial ‘call for ideas’ was issued to key stakeholders within East Renfrewshire Council town and neighbourhood centres to give partners the opportunity to help shape the plans,” a report by the council’s Director of Environment Andrew Cahill states.

“A good response was received and a number of proposals were considered before a shortlist was drawn up.

“The town centre capital fund provides an excellent opportunity to deliver significant investment to key areas of East Renfrewshire and has been a catalyst for stakeholder engagement which will help provide direction for future investment and collaborative working.”

The plans also include £170,000 for Barrhead Road, Newton Mearns, to form a signalised junction to provide access to a new-build housing site, making it safer for people to cross the road.

Other projects include £40,000 for public realm improvements, including planters, in Neilston and £40,000 for work at Glasgow Road shops, in Easglesham, to enhance pedestrian and cycle access.