Funding of £3.7m awarded to Glasgow City Council will see a major new supermarket open within Castlemilk following a decade of residential campaigns.
Castlemilk has been described as one of the very few city communities without easy access to nutritious and affordable food, with residents having campaigned for well over ten years for a supermarket while having to travel several miles in return trips to the nearest big store.
A decision by the council’s city administration committee to approve the release of £3.7m of funds to nine projects across the city will finally put in place the conditions for that to happen.
The city council had received 56 applications, requesting a total of £13.75m of funding, almost four times the amount available to grant.
It is now expected that a household name supermarket will unveil details of its plans for the Braes Shopping Centre in the coming weeks now that funding of £3.3m, for the required infrastructure works have been confirmed to the Scotsman Group, who own the building.
During the meeting Labour councillor Malcolm Cunning said: “Those of us who represent Castlemilk have certainly been involved in issues around the lack of shopping facilities and the decline of the Braes Shopping Centre for the past ten years.
“Various owners and various projects have come forward and all of them to date have not progressed and there is deep concern within the Castlemilk community that we have a very significant population of the community with little or no access to fresh foods or vegetables.
“The costs of shopping have significantly increased by the fact that people are often having to travel by public transport to Asda and then get a taxi home.
“I would like some more detail at some stage about the use of the money and what the arrangement is with the Scotsman Group which is clearly a commercial organisation.”
Funding will be released from the Place Fund, a Scottish Government fund for local authorities to allocate, work collaboratively with local communities and develop projects under a variety of themes.
In May 2021, the Scottish Government announced £38m of funding for 2021/2022, to be allocated across all local authorities.
A further award of £3.2m in Glasgow for 2022/2023 has been indicated by the Scottish Government.
Following the meeting SNP councillor Margaret Morgan said the decision heralded a significant day for the citizens of Castlemilk, describing it as a “game changer for our community”.
Councillor Morgan said: “The Castlemilk community has pushed for a supermarket in the heart of their area for decades.
“What other city neighbourhoods take for granted, Castlemilk was deprived of.
“Addressing this has been a top priority in my four-and-a-half years as local councillor and I’m thrilled that, at long last, we’ve reached this milestone.”
Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken added: “The people of Castlemilk have long known what their community needed and why; easy access to affordable, fresh and nutritious food and household items.
“The city government has been hugely supportive of local efforts and worked hard to help deliver that. A big well done to all those who have campaigned for this, and as a south side councillor I’m delighted.”