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  • Ayrshire Daily News
  • Ayrshire Daily News
  • Ayrshire Daily News

New look Cumnock gets Shop Local boost

Shopping locally helps keep people in jobs, money in the local economy and supports all sorts of associated businesses too. And shopping in Cumnock is on the up with an ever improving choice in a much changed retail landscape.

The current Shop Local booklet produced by East Ayrshire Council’s Economic Development team, features a staggering 200 local businesses and services. First produced last Autumn, with 10,000 copies delivered in Cumnock and neighbouring towns, a new, updated edition, has just been completed and delivered to a further 6000 homes in towns and villages within easy reach of the town.

Fiona Nicolson, Town Centre Manager explains: “Shop Local features every type of shop and service, from fashion to funeral directors, gifts to groceries, hair and beauty to home and hardware products. It also includes listings for everything from dentists to training agencies, legal firms and driving instructors.

“The strength of trade in Cumnock lies in its abundance of independent shops. With great loyalty to the local area, knowledge of their customers and their needs, shopkeepers are constantly striving to provide personal service. A sign of their confidence and willingness to work together to build on improvements is the strength of the Cumnock Business Association which features businesses from many non retail sectors. This brochure encourages people to take a second look at all that the town has to offer.”

Cumnock has always had a proud tradition as a market town and centre of industry. With beautiful historic buildings dating back hundreds of years it has recently embraced major improvements to the townscape, giving retail, hospitality services and education a welcome boost in the town.

The redevelopment kicked off with the creation of Rothesay House, a one stop shop for all local Council services. The work continued with extensive renovation and modernisation of the Town Hall, the closure and demolition of the outdated Glaisnock Shopping Centre and the creation of an exciting new seven unit retail development at Townhead Street. Some of the retailers from Glaisnock shopping centre opted to relocate to these stunning new premises, while the remaining units attracted new businesses to the town leading to the creation of several new jobs.

With the help of Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme funding from East Ayrshire Council and Historic Environment Scotland, private business and home owners have eagerly embraced the opportunity to restore many of the fine traditional sandstone buildings in the town centre, bringing new accommodation, business opportunities and vibrancy to its heart.

Renovation of flagship properties, such as the Dumfries Arms Hotel, the Royal Hotel and Cumnock Town Hall, has made Cumnock a popular venue for weddings, with the Registrar’s office at Rothesay House reporting a brisk upturn in bookings in and around the area.

Work is soon starting on the final phase of Cumnock’s transformation, with a brand new Farmfoods shop, an additional 6000 sqft flexible unit with additional car parking, and upgrading of the footbridge link to Rothesay House which will improve the overall look and feel of the Town Centre.

Fiona says: “In the last few years Cumnock has undergone massive change for the better. It’s not been an easy time for business owners, but now that the first phase of new retail units is open and many of the buildings are renovated, there’s a new confidence growing in the town. People are realising the benefits of spending in Cumnock, helping support local business, keeping the money in the local economy and ultimately giving people job opportunities.”

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