A £6.3million project to regenerate a deprived area of Glasgow including the historic Schipka Pass is under way.

Work on the Calton Barras Action Plan has started in the city's East End.

As the Evening Times previously reported, the ambitious project includes opening a park at the derelict site of the Schipka Pass, which links London Road to Gallowgate.

Planning consent has been given for the park, which is being developed by Loci Design and is expected to be finished by summer.

The area became well known after local entrepreneur Dick Barton turned it into a flea market, but the area is now badly in need of a facelift.

In the next few weeks work will start to improve around 82 shopfronts along London Road, the Gallowgate and nearby streets.

At the Barras Market, vacant units and floorspace will be given to design, craft, recycling and furniture restoration groups in a bid to provide jobs and increase footfall.

It is hoped that more businesses will be attracted in order to return the once-bustling market to its best.

The move has been welcomed by the community.

Councillor Yvonne Kucuk, who is part of the Action Barras Calton (ABC) group, said: "It is heartening to see. We've had so many people get in touch with us to get involved now that they actually see things happening.

"Everybody is talking about it - the park will be amazing.

"It's all go and it's our last sprint before the Games."

The council is injecting £3.5m into the plans, with another £1.4m from COSLA and the Scottish Government, and a further £1.4m is expected from other sources.

The aim is to revive the area on the east side of the City Centre, and make big improvements to the Barras.

Liz Cameron, executive member for Jobs and the Economy at the council, said it would create employment opportunites.

She said: "The plan will bring new jobs and a better environment to Calton and the Barras, and a sense of being better connected to the surrounding areas.

"What is especially pleasing is that from the very beginning local residents and businesses played a key role in the development of the plan, and will continue to do so as we work towards a bright future for this historic part of Glasgow."

As part of the project, workers have started resurfacing footways along London Road and Gallowgate.

Proposals have also been developed to clean up Morris Place and to emphasise the link between Calton and Glasgow Green, including the People's Palace.

Greendyke Square will be "reconfigured" by council road teams, with traffic calming measures and pedestrian crossings put in place to create a new open space.

Council bosses are also trying to minimise anti-

social behaviour around the area by creating a clearer sight line between homes on either side of the Gallowgate.

These proposals include removing low-level brick walls, reducing grass mounds and tree density.