IT is a Glasgow institution known for its bustling market stalls selling furniture, clothes and bric-a-brac.

But after falling into decline in recent years the Barras market is now at the forefront of one of the city's biggest regeneration movements.

As we revealed in the Evening Times yesterday, the council's £6.3million investment into the area as part of the Calton Barras Action Plan, is taking shape.

As well as a new Oran Mor-style venue being developed by Tony and Michael Woods at the former St Luke's Church in Bain Street, the historic Barras Market is undergoing some major changes.

Barras Art and Design (BAaD) centre manager Norrie Innes has been working for the past five years to bring people in to the area.The 50-year-old, from the East End, has refurbished the BAad centre, rented out units to businesses and used it as a trendy events space, with a £65,000 grant boost.

He is now working on BAad 2, the project which will see old shipping containers transformed into a technical academy, business space and creative room, thanks to £265,000 funding.

Norrie said: "The BAad building was dysfunctional, as there was no roof. There were a lot of underused and vacant buildings in the area and we've worked hard to change this.

"The creation of the Action Barras Calton (ABC) group has really changed things. It's created a strong framework for great things to come."

Norrie is working on increasing security in the BAad centre, which is in the heart of the Barras, adding LED lights, internal shutters and an improved heating system.

He was also recently granted a permanent entertainment licence which means they can organise and promote upcoming events.

Norrie said: "There's an understanding that the area is hopefully going to become the city's events quarter. When it gets to the summer it's going to be teeming with people.

"The great thing about getting a permanent entertainments licence means we can start planning the events.

"We're at pains to point out we don't want anything residential in the heart of the Barras - we don't want to change it too much, we want to bring more people here."

BAad 2 will include a technical academy on the top floor, in collaboration with Glasgow Caledonian University, business incubation and entrepreneur units, and a MAKLAB 3D printing workshop on the ground floor.

Norrie said: "We hope to get local school pupils in. I've coined the term 'an oil capsule with a sweetie wrapper on it', so they can be excited by the games and apps, but behind that is the real technical stuff.

"GCU are really excited about it. It's all a progressive process."

It is hoped the foundations will start on BAad 2 in July and it will be fully open by January next year.

In nearby Ross Street, Many Studios is preparing to open a space for 60 artists in September. The studios, which are being worked on thanks to a £400,000 grant, will transform a disused building.

Co-director Marc Cairns, 28, said: "We've been based in Merchant City since 2010 which has come with advantages and disadvantages - there's been increasing rents, for example.

"So we'll be newcomers to the Barras.

"What's really exciting about the building is we have lease to the market stalls in Ross Street as part of our 25-year lease so we're really excited to work with existing stall holders.

"It's not about changing the Barras, we just want to bring the energy of our organisation."

Mercury Award winners Young Fathers are expected to DJ at the opening of the building.

Calton councillor Yvonne Kucuk has been backing the projects through her involvement with the Action Barras Calton group.

She said: "I think there was always a fear we'd lose the gallusness of the Barras, but we'll never gentrify it.

"I was a Barras trader and that will never leave me. It will always be a part of us.

"But what the projects will do is invigorate the place. It will be safer to walk the streets because there will be that many people coming here.

"We won't be a car park for the city centre any longer. There will be a vibrant side to this place."

Yvonne hopes the cherry on the cake of the Barras regeneration will be a Banksy artwork.

She said: "Banksy follows the ABC on Twitter - and I really think the Barras needs a Banksy. I'd like to see a Banksy up here."