Ambitious plans for the redevelopment of Easterhouse Town Centre are another step closer to realization, with the planning applications for the much anticipated Phase 2 at Glasgow Fort Shopping Park and the New Neighbourhood Centre both being given the green light.
Together these developments will generate hundreds of new jobs as well as provide better local amenities for local residents. In addition, today's decision by Glasgow City Council will bring a significant boost into the area.
It is anticipated that both projects will now get underway in spring next year.
The expansion of Glasgow Fort will see the existing 400,000-ft² award-winning shopping park increased by 175,000 ft² to include a full offer Marks and Spencer store and a number of other big brand retail units. It is anticipated that up to 500 jobs will be created through construction and retail related activity. Planned extra car parking and road and public transport improvements will also be welcomed by shoppers and residents alike.
Alongside, the New Neighbourhood Centre will provide local shops, offices, car parking and a proposed childcare center with a secure outdoor play area, which will be built on an area of unused land bounded by Connisburgh Road in the west and Auchenlea Road in the south. Both developments will illustrate sustainable initiatives.
It will differ in style to Glasgow Fort, its retail park neighbour, with the new 70,000-ft² center catering for up to 20 smaller shop units designed to meet the specific needs of local residents. It is hoped that up to 200 jobs, from retail and construction, will be linked to the project.
Both development plans were submitted by Hercules Unit Trust, owners of Glasgow Fort which has been a catalyst for social regeneration in the Greater Easterhouse area since it was first built in 2004. As an example, two thirds of the 1,400 jobs created at the park have been secured by local residents who are given an unrivalled level of support and training, including the opportunity to work towards an SVQ in retail.
Phil Goodman, centre manager at Glasgow Fort and speaking on behalf of Hercules Unit Trust, said: "We are extremely excited about our expansion plans, both at Glasgow Fort and the New Neighbourhood Centre. Today's announcement comes after much planning and consultation with key stakeholders and we are looking forward to seeing the plans come to life.
He added: "We are committed to driving forward the regeneration of Easterhouse. The ultimate aim for the area is to create an integrated, economically and socially successful town, with a community hub. And these developments will not only aesthetically improve the town center, but they will also provide further employment opportunities for local residents, by adding significantly to the status of the local area as a prime shopping destination."