Plans to breathe new life into Main Street

Busi­ness im­prove­ment bid for Cam­bus­lang

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Edel Ke­nealy

A busi­ness im­prove­ment plan will be cre­ated to iden­tify ways of boost­ing the eco­nomic for­tunes of Cam­bus­lang Main Street.

Ini­ti­ated by Cam­bus­lang Com­mu­nity Coun­cil, the plan is a di­rect re­sponse to the re­cent Main Street Busi­ness Sur­vey which re­vealed one in five shops have con­sid­ered quit­ting the town com­pletely.

Col­lated by the com­mu­nity coun­cil, the sur­vey also shows 40 per cent of firms on the road have ex­pe­ri­enced de­clin­ing busi­ness per­for­mance over the past three years.

The plan, the com­mu­nity coun­cil says, will aim to re­verse this trend and pro­vide the ba­sis for re­gen­er­at­ing the town cen­tre.

John Bachtler, trea­surer of Cam­bus­lang Com­mu­nity Coun­cil, said: “The busi­ness plan will have three lev­els, with short, medium and long-term aims.

“In the short-term there are things that can be done to im­prove the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion. Early ac­tion on park­ing, for ex­am­ple.

“South La­nark­shire Coun­cil has been given fund­ing to com­plete a fea­si­bil­ity study for a park and ride, which would help. But also we think cre­at­ing street fes­ti­vals to raise the pro­file of the Main Street is some­thing that can done quickly.

“There are other mea­sures that have been suc­cess­ful in towns through­out Scot­land and the UK that could be tried in Cam­bus­lang.

“An im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tion to the busi­ness im­prove­ment plan is a com­mer­cial assess­ment of the Main Street, with the help of the banks,to iden­tify gaps in the mar­ket.

“Could the Main Street sup­port a town cen­tre su­per­mar­ket, or could it sup­port that on a smaller scale? Are there gaps in shops and ser­vices on the Main Street that could be de­vel­oped with fund­ing or other sup­port?

“There are also fund­ing pots that we could tap into, ei­ther our­selves, or in con­junc­tion with the coun­cil or other part­ners.

“It is crit­i­cal that we find a way of im­prov­ing the at­trac­tive­ness of the Main Street to in­crease foot­fall or trade oth­er­wise de­cline will con­tinue. We can’t do this alone, but with pub­lic sec­tor bod­ies, lo­cal busi­nesses and the com­mu­nity work­ing to­gether, there is much that we can do.

“Other towns have been suc­cess­ful in re­gen­er­at­ing them­selves: Cam­bus­lang can too.”

The com­mu­nity coun­cil is hop­ing to launch its Cam­bus­lang Town Cen­tre Re­gen­er­a­tion Group once the lo­cal elec­tions are com­pleted and a se­ries of meet­ings are held with key stake­hold­ers.

This in­cludes the coun­cil’s di­rec­tor for eco­nomic re­gen­er­a­tion, the Scot­tish Government and ma­jor em­ploy­ers in the town.

The com­mu­nity coun­cil is also look­ing for mem­bers of the com­mu­nity with com­mer­cial or eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment ex­pe­ri­ence to join the re­gen­er­a­tion group. Let­ters have also been writ­ten to the three banks, which have ei­ther closed, or pro­posed with­draw­ing from the town. A pos­i­tive meet­ing was re­cently held with se­nior of­fi­cers of RBS and an­other is be­ing or­gan­ised with Cly­des­dale Bank. The TSB is yet to re­spond.

In the long term Cam­bus­lang Com­mu­nity Coun­cil would like to see the town cen­tre re­mod­elled to cre­ate a more vi­brant Main Street, but recog­nise fund­ing is not cur­rently avail­able for such a large project.

Ghost town Res­i­dents have been left dis­mayed about the fu­ture of Cam­bus­lang Main Street

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