Sep 18 2008 By Fraser Wilson
PADDY'S Market should come under local authority control next spring following a decision by Glasgow City Council to enter into negotiation with site owners Network Rail.
The Glaswegian understands that is the timeframe the council have put on their £500,000 plan to take over the running of the historic market, on Shipbank Lane.
The market will likely be closed for a period of maintenance before being re-opened as part of Glasgow's cultural quarter.
On Friday the council's executive committee voted 13 to four in favour of entering into negotiation with Network Rail with a view to taking on the leases at Shipbank Lane for a combination of uses, including sub-leasing to appropriate arts and business organisations.
The leases would cost the city council £100,000 a year for five years.
Councillor George Ryan, Executive Member for Development and Regeneration, said: "The takeover of the lease by the council would lift the whole area, fitting in with the regeneration of the Clyde and the Merchant City and eradicating the anti-social element.
"Shipbank Lane could become a tourist destination, a high quality arts and crafts market and a cultural venue, with aspiring artists selling their work."
A council spokesman added that the local authority would work with current traders to examine whether they could operate at the site in its future use. Stallholders hope this means they will continue trading from their units.
Proposals for the council to take over the leases were mooted last year after reports of crime in the vicinity of the market.
Stallholder Hazel McGeachin said she and her colleagues were willing to work with the council to find a way forward that suits everyone.
She said: "We have been told that the council are going to work with legitimate traders and I am happy if that is the case. As long as I keep my stall.
"If the council keep the ethos of the market the same then the customers will still come because more and more people are looking for bargains in the current financial market."