Help needed for Briggs shops

Huntershill Village. Sharon Spinelli outside her pet shop in Bishopbriggs 29.9.11 Picture by Jamie Forbes
Huntershill Village. Sharon Spinelli outside her pet shop in Bishopbriggs 29.9.11 Picture by Jamie Forbes

TROUBLED traders have called for more support to help them compete with out-of-town retailers.

The revived Strathkelvin Retail Park has been blamed for taking away business from Huntershill Village and Bishopbriggs town centre.

Traders at Huntershill Village, Bishopbrigg fear shops will close if something is not done to help them compete.

The Herald revealed last month that John M. Steel butcher in Kirkintilloch Road is up for sale after being affected by the retail park.

Sharon Spinelli, owner of the Bishopbriggs Pet and Aquatic Centre, which has seen a 25-30 per cent drop in sales due to the retail park, said: “We’re really struggling to get by and make ends meet. The way things are going I don’t think it will be long before we don’t have a town centre in Bishopbriggs because every business is being affected

“The retail park could just get rid of shops in this area.”

Another concerned trader said: “It’s good that the retail park is busy, but it’s at the detriment of local businesses and the community.

“These big companies are getting incentives to move into the retail park and local companies are struggling to compete.”

Huntershill Village is currently in talks with the council to look at ways to support traders. They’re also trying to get the route of the Bishopbriggs circular bus changed so it visits Huntershill.

Thomas Glen, head of development and enterprise at the council, said: “Representatives from the business community at Huntershill Village have been invited to the Bishopbriggs Town Centre Steering Group on October 11.

“East Dunbartonshire Council continues to actively support a competitive trading environment in Bishopbriggs town centre and other locations across the town.

“Council officers have been involved in discussions with developers to ensure future town centre regeneration plans support businesses in the town centre and have in the recent past supported investment in public realm infrastructure.”

Derwent – owners of Caledonian Properties, which runs the retail park – were unavailable for comment.