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Lanark residents invited to name popular town centre close

Discover Lanark BID closes

Seeing the light: Antonia Pompa, Discover Lanark BID Manager and members of the Discover Lanark Board in one of the newly renovated closes

Local residents have the chance to vote on a name for one of the town’s historic closes as part of Discover Lanark’s project to renovate these popular thoroughfares.

The close, adjacent to Costa Coffee and leading to North Vennel is a well-used link between Tesco and the High Street, but currently lacks a name.

The poll on the Discover Lanark Facebook page will run from 27 November until 6 December and will offer two alternatives: Brewery Close or Skinworks Close. Both refer back to the site of the former brewery and skinworks, now part of the Tesco car park. The brewery, owned between the mid 1800s and 1911 by the Gilroy family, produced a wide variety of ales and beers. It was succeeded on the site by the Hume and Thomson Skinworks, which remained in Lanark until the 1990s when it relocated to Ayrshire.

Ian Wilson Leitch, Discover Lanark Director and Vice Chair of the Tolbooth Lanark said, “The skinworks and brewery were part of the fabric of the town over many decades and it is good to bring them back into the limelight as part of the closes renovation project.”

Discover Lanark Business Improvement District launched the project to renovate the closes after a 2018 shopper survey revealed that a small but significant number of respondents avoid the closes after dark. To date, seven closes have been repainted and had new and extra energy efficient light fittings installed, with a further two to follow.

The next step will be to install panels explaining the history of each close including information about their names.

The project has already received some very positive feedback. Graeme McLeish, Chair of Discover Lanark said, “It’s great to see Lanark’s gloomy closes now bursting with light. We hope the improvements will make the passage between the High Street and the Vennels a safer and more pleasurable experience for all.”

He added, “We are grateful to Lanark Rotary for sponsoring the refurbishment of the Wide Close and Bernard’s Wynd, and hope to have all of the closes complete by the end of 2019.”

Discover Lanark Business Improvement District launched on 1st September this year with the principle purpose of delivering projects and initiatives to improve the area for businesses. In addition to the closes renovation project, the BID is currently working on the installation of a ‘light ceiling’ in Wellgate to support the evening economy, the delivery of additional shop front Christmas trees, a Christmas marketing campaign and achieving costs savings for businesses on utilities and telecoms.