GLASGOW'S East End is about to get its very own Oran Mor-style venue - and locals hope it will put the Calton area on the map, bringing dozens of jobs with it.


Brothers Michael and Tony Woods have been transforming one of Glasgow's oldest churches - the former St Luke's and St Andrew's Parish Church in Bain Street.

After buying the church three years ago, the pair have injected £1.2 million - which includes funding from Glasgow City Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund - to refurbish it into a new music venue, bar and restaurant.

The work is part of the council's £6.3 million Calton-Barras action plan, which has seen the creation of Barrowland Park and improvements to shop fronts during last year's Commonwealth Games, as well as other works.

Now the Evening Times can reveal the next step in the regeneration - the opening of the multi-purpose arts and music venue Saint Luke's in Bain Street in August.

The church, which is similar to the hugely popular venue Oran Mor in the West End, already has five weddings booked, and the owners are in the process in finalising dates to stage major bands, artists and comedians.

Later in the year an artists' space with 60 studios will open in the heart of the nearby Barras. There will also be an extension to the Barras Art and Design Centre, with a tech academy for students and space for new businesses.

The people behind the redevelopments are keen to point out they are not gentrifying the East End - they just want to make positive changes to make it a more popular and safer place.

Michael, 34, and Tony, 44, have a "lifetime connection" to the Calton area.

Their grandfather worked for council procurement and was a head foreman at Parnie Street in the Saltmarket.

Their dad started a plumbing and joinery business in Tobago Street where the brothers did their apprenticeships.

Their business APM Contracts Ltd, based in Dunn Street in the East End, was set up in 2001 and they try to give opportunities and employment to local people.

Michael said it was through their history with Calton that they decided to support the regeneration.

He said: "It's a really exciting time for the whole area.

"We're regenerated the church into a multi-purpose venue for music, arts plus a cafe, bar and restaurant as well. We've got five weddings booked in already just through our Facebook page.

"The stonework has all been regenerated, we've cleaned the organ. The stained glass windows from 1870 have all been regenerated, cleaned up and smash points have all been fixed."

The Evening Times was given a sneak peek round the church where the DJ box will be installed in the pulpit.

There is a viewing area above and a large piazza is planned for the outdoor area.

The spacious bar and restaurant will be called The Winged Ox - a biblical reference to Saint Luke the Evangelist.

Michael said the figure symbolises "sacrifice service and strength, much like the East End of Glasgow".

He added: "The venue will be the East End Oran Mor. There's no place like this so it's perfect for this area.

"There's been a lot of community benefits as well, getting them involved."

The pair have held events including the Calton Gala Day and a Christmas lights switch on.

Joe Aitken, Head of Major Events at Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, backed the regeneration.

He said: "St Luke's will be a fantastic addition to Glasgow's extensive venue portfolio.

"The iconic building will create a vibrant new space for event organisers and an exciting extension of Glasgow's centrally located well known music venues.

"Glasgow City Marketing Bureau has excellent city-wide partnerships and has been working closely with the team at St Luke's to broker introductions to the event and festival community."

To book a wedding or find out information visit the St Luke's Facebook page.

Tomorrow: Read about the plans for the Barras regeneration