HUNDREDS of thousands of pounds are being offered to shopkeepers to spruce up their businesses before the Glasgow Common-wealth Games.

Shop fronts on key routes linking the world famous Barras with the city's various Games sites are being targeted.

The cash injection is part of ambitious plans to regenerate the city's historic Calton area, including major improvements to Glasgow's market stalls.

Local councillor and Calton-born Yvonne Kucuk is spearheading the community wide drive. She was elected as a Labour councillor for the area on the back of her involvement in the community.

Yvonne has now been elected chairwoman of the Action Barras Calton Group which is holding a public meeting tomorrow night to give details of the campaign to regenerate the area.

And today she told how £3.5million is being set aside by Glasgow City Council to "kick start" the regeneration blueprint, with another £2.8m promised from trusts and foundations.

Cash will be set aside from this to revamp the shops.

Yvonne said: "As someone who was born in Calton and recently elected to represent the ward I am delighted to be appointed chair of the group set up to co-ordinate the regeneration of the area.

"We have brought together local residents, local ret-ailers and key stakeholders to ensure this investment brings about real change, not only to a historic part of the city but to the lives of local people and traders."

She added: "Hundreds of thousands of pounds are being made available for shop-front improvements.

"Individual shopkeepers could potentially receive tens of thousands of pounds to help pay for the work which needs to be done."

Traders and residents are being invited to the group's public meeting tomorrow at the Barras Art and Design Centre from 5.30pm to get a glimpse of the new Calton Barras Action Plan which also involves senior planners and regeneration officials at the city council.

A spokesman said: "The Calton Barras Action Plan has been established to help regenerate the Barras market and the wider Calton area to create an attractive and well-connected neighbourhood with a distinctive and vibrant Barras market at its core.

"Through the plan, the council is bringing forward a number of early actions to improve routes to the city's East End and this includes a small grant fund towards shop-front improvements.

THE grant scheme is initially available to owners of shop units on the Key Routes to enable them to undertake the necessary repairs, redecoration and other improvements such as removing old signage."

He added: "The works will encompass improvements to public realm areas as well as vacant derelict spaces from Glasgow Cross to the heart of the Barras and Calton and on to Bridgeton Cross and the main Games venues."

The blueprint is backed by community activist Betty Cosgrove, who heads the Calton Area Association.

She said: "Hopefully, it will lead to more develop-ments and opportunities for the whole community on the back of work by the Caltion Area Association over the last four years to help regenerate the Calton such as helping bring a Morrisons supermarket to area and creating a community centre, due to open in the summer."

Councillor Liz Cameron, the city council's executive member for jobs and the economy, said: "The regeneration of this historic part of Glasgow is a very exciting development.

"Anyone interested in finding out more about the Calton Barras Action Plan will bring to the area should come along to the evening session."