£500,000 pavement plan for Glasgow's Saracen Street

JUST 1800 sq m of new pavments could lead to a prosperous future for a Glasgow community.

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Hundreds of thousands of pounds are to be spent on footpath improvements along Saracen Street as part of an ongoing multi-million pound regeneration programme for Possilpark.

Council chiefs have agreed to spend £447,000 to revitalise pavements between Allander Street and Bardowie Street.

They reckon it will be money well spent and help safeguard existing jobs and generate new employment opportunities for a part of the city that needs a helping hand.

Caithness flagstones, fashioned from stone quarried only in the North of Scotland, will be used to help transform the heart of Possilpark.

The contract has already been awarded to Airdrie-based MacLay Civil Engineering. The company plans to begin work on January 7. The improvements will take 15 weeks before completion in mid April.

A council spokesman said: "The works will see the installation of new, high quality natural paving materials and fresh street furniture - bins and guardrails - to create an attractive streetscene and a platform for other improvements.

"The contractor will shortly issue leaflets to alert businesses and residents in Saracen Street. The council will work closely with the community council and other local groups and residents to ensure information is given about the footway works and to give locals the opportunity to provide feedback as the construction works progress."

He stressed: "The council and MacLay's will do everything possible to minimise disruption to pedestrian and vehicle movement through the construction period and will liaise with businesses and residents to achieve this aim."

And the spokesman added: "The footway improvements at Saracen Street are set to be complemented by other ongoing and planned public realm improvements."

The upgrade is part of the regeneration programme for Possilpark, which includes a major focus on health and business services for the area.

The ambitious blueprint to breathe new life into the area includes the double launch in February of a new £1.1million business centre and a new £6.3m Possilpark Health Centre.

NG Homes - the area's main housing provider - is a major supporter of regeneration work and has just spent thousands of pounds on improvements to five tenement closemouths and begun work on another five.

Saracen Street is the northern gateway to the city centre and planned public realm improvements include the installation of new, white streetlights on nine tenement buildings, to help enhance the area's commercial profile as well as the feeling of safety among local shoppers and residents.

It's not just shoppers visiting the local retail hub who will see a big difference when the upgrade is completed in the spring.

Improvements are also planned to the footpaths next to Possilpark Library, in Allander Street. The library offers a range of services and is a popular community hub.

Senior councillor Liz Cameron is spokeswoman for jobs and the economy on Glasgow City Council.

She said: "The beginning of the work to transform the footway on Saracen Street will improve what remains of an important shopping location and travel route with a number of community facilities on or nearby the road."

It's all part of a £12m blueprint to kickstart an area once made famous worldwide by the Saracen Foundry.

Ms Cameron added: "This project will complement everything else that is happening in Saracen Street and across Possilpark just now and marks another phase in the regeneration of the area."

gordon.thomson@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Local government

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