Butcher is given late re­prieve

But long-term fu­ture risk

East Kilbride News - - NEWS - Nicola Find­lay

A fam­ily busi­ness set to close its doors in an East Kil­bride shop­ping cen­tre has won a re­prieve – for the time be­ing at least.

Pop­u­lar McCan­dlish the butch­ers in Green­hills Shop­ping Cen­tre was due to close this month with op­er­a­tions mov­ing to their West­wood store.

Its own­ers cited un­cer­tainty over fu­ture plans for the shop­ping cen­tre from its land­lords, F1 Real Es­tate, along with their in­abil­ity to in­vest in the store, due to the three­month lease they were be­ing of­fered, as ma­jor fac­tors in de­cid­ing to close.

Ris­ing rents and a re­duc­tion in foot­fall were also given as rea­sons which had made the store less prof­itable.

Co-owner Alex McCan­dlish Jnr, whose father opened the Green­hills shop 40 years ago, told the News pre­vi­ously it was with a “heavy heart” that they had taken the de­ci­sion to close and thanked all their loyal cus­tomers.

But he said the last­minute de­ci­sion had been taken to keep the store up and run­ning for the time be­ing – as ne­go­ti­a­tions with the land­lord were con­tin­u­ing.

He said: “We have now been of­fered a 12-month lease with a three-month no­tice pe­riod.

“Right up un­til the last day we thought we would still be clos­ing but will now be here over the Christ­mas and New Year pe­riod and I would say for at least the next six months.

“Many of our cus­tomers said they were re­ally sad to hear we would be leav­ing Green­hills and we were all re­ally sad to be go­ing.

“We are here for the fore­see­able fu­ture at least, hich we’re happy about.”

But Mr McCan­dlish jnr said there was still un­cer­tainty over their long-term se­cu­rity.

“Talks with the land­lord are still on­go­ing,” he said. “There is still a huge amount of un­cer­tainty.

“The three-month no­tice pe­riod means in three months time the land­lord could come for­ward and tell us we are out.

“For var­i­ous rea­sons, we are hope­ful that won’t be the case but it’s still not the ideal sit­u­a­tion for us to be in.”

A brochure pub­lished last year by the land­lords out­lined pro­pos­als for re­de­vel­op­ment of the cen­tre, in­clud­ing new re­tail units and 140 free car park­ing spa­ces. How­ever, as yet, noth­ing has come to fruition and no plans have been sub­mit­ted to South La­nark­shire Coun­cil’s plan­ning de­part­ment.

An auc­tion board also ap­peared but was taken down af­ter just two days.

Open Butcher Alex McCan­dlish with as­sis­tant Jean Lit­tle

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