TRADERS in Barrhead’s Main Street shopping arcade have backed plans to give the area a much-needed facelift.

Last week, the Barrhead News revealed the crumbling retail hub is to undergo a major refurbishment, with work lasting for four months.

Shop owners have now expressed their delight that developers aim to breathe new life into the arcade.

READ MORE: New lease of life for Barrhead's Main Street

Andrew Bicket, owner of Bickets master butchers, said: “I think this will definitely bring more people into Barrhead and the Main Street in particular.

“Hopefully it’ll be lovely and cheer up the place, which in turn would bring more people.

“Unfortunately, some shop owners don’t really take pride in cleaning outside or at the back of their business.

“If everyone took a wee bit more pride in their town, Barrhead would be great.”
Barrhead residents are also looking forward to a “long overdue” revamp of the Main Street arcade.

Sharon McKenna said: “It’s about time the Main Street was improved. It’s an eyesore.”

Lisa Harper added: “Something needs done, it’s so bad.”

Welcome Estates, who are managing agents for the Main Street arcade, fear that, even with an extensive refurbishment, shops there will struggle to compete if East Renfrewshire Council approves multi-million-pound plans to transform a site on the outskirts of Barrhead, once occupied by Nestle, into a state-of-the-art retail park.

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Mark Bamberger, spokesman for Welcome Estates, said: “Unfortunately, it would be overly optimistic to believe that the Barrhead centre would not be in danger of becoming a ‘ghost’ parade, should permission be granted for the proposed retail park.”

However, Mr Bicket believes the new Glasgow Road Retail Park would attract people from other towns, possibly steering them towards the Main Street arcade.

“The retail park isn’t my ideal thing but it would bring more people into the town,” he said.

“People would come from Newton Mearns, Pollok and Darnley for that kind of thing.

“Will they come to the Main Street? If it was nice, maybe. Once it is refurbished, that will make a difference. Barrhead could be amazing.”

East Renfrewshire Council has said it is keen to see a variety of shopping outlets flourish throughout Barrhead.