Funding boost for East Renfrewshire town centre projects

Eight projects to improve town centres across East Renfrewshire will share £475,000.

Wednesday, 9th December 2020, 3:18 pm

The council’s cabinet has approved plans for money from the Town Centre fund, launched by the Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.

It was set up to support local economies and make town centres “more diverse, successful and sustainable”.

The council initially received £981,000 from the fund, with projects approved in November last year.

It has now agreed to proposals for the use of an extra £353,000, for schemes to boost the economic recovery from Covid-19. Around £122,000 in underspends from last year’s allocation will also be used.

There will be lighting installed in Newton Mearns, costing £100,000, and in Eaglesham, which has been priced at £85,000. Both schemes are designed to “improve the vibrancy” of the areas.

A project to install CCTV in Cowan Park, Barrhead, to improve safety and encourage residents to use the facility, will get £20,000.

There has been £100,000 set aside for regeneration plans in Neilston and £70,000 will be used on installing toilets and a new heating system and painting at Busby Library, marking the building’s centenary.

A marketing campaign to encourage people to shop locally across East Renfrewshire, to boost the area’s economy recovery following the pandemic, has received £80,000.

Menorah lighting will be installed in Clarkston, with £5000 allocated for the plan, and a memorial to Thomas Donohoe, believed to have organised the first football match in Brazil, is set to be built in Busby, costing £15,000.

Councillor Paul O’Kane welcomed the plans, which he said ensured each community benefitted.

“In these times in particular, it is about enhancing our town centres and ensuring they are welcoming places,” he said.

He added the lighting projects were “really important” as “we want to ensure as many people are using our local community centres as much as we can”.

The councillor also said: ““I want to welcome the creation of a menorah at Clarkston to mark Hanukkah.

“I know that it’s been a particular desire of the local Jewish community for many years. I’m looking forward to see these projects continue to roll out.”

The projects will need to begin, or have the contracts signed, by the end of March next year. Stakeholders from East Renfrewshire’s town and neighbourhood centres were asked to come forward with ideas.