Calls for supermarket site to be put to good use

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The former high school site earmarked for a stalled new supermarket should be used for the community, says local MP Jo Swinson.

She has written to Morrisons asking them to consider how the unused site in Bishopbriggs could be used for the benefit of the community while plans to build a new store remain stalled. She’s urging them to work with the local community council to identify projects.

Morrisons currently has a store in the town and told the Herald it is committed to the area; many supermarkets are stalling expansion projects due to the current climate.

Local residents have told Ms Swinson that the unkempt site right in the centre of town could be put to more productive use. The MP agrees, and has written to Morrisons, to ask if they would consider using the land as a venue to host community events. In her letter she also encouraged Morrisons to engage with Bishopbriggs Community Council about alternatives temporary uses for the site.

Ms Swinson has also welcomed a reassurance from Morrisons that the staff at the current Bishopbriggs store will be unaffected by UK-wide job cuts announced at the end of the 2014.

Jo said: “The former High School land is at the heart of Bishopbriggs, and local people don’t want such a large and central site to remain unused and unkempt. They rightly want to know Morrisons’ future plans.

‘‘Whilst I welcomed Morrisons telling me that contractors would start clearing up some of the overgrown vegetation this month, I want them to go further and lay out plans for how this large area could be put to productive use in the community until they are in a position to take forward proposals for development.

“Despite the slow progress on the new store in Bishopbriggs it is very reassuring to know that local jobs are secure, even with Morrisons making cutbacks across the UK.”

Morrisons owns two sites in Bishopbriggs, the one it currently occupies and the proposed new site, and while it is fully committed to the town it has not decided what future direction it will take.

However, it is happy to support EDC if it wants to carry on with the hub ahead of any supermarket development, and will meet with them if requested.

A Morrisons spokesperson said: “We will explore any suggested uses for the site and will work with East Dunbartonshire Council on its proposals for a community hub.”