NO independent stores within an East End shopping centre have closed during lockdown.

Staff at the Forge, in Parkhead, revealed the good news as they continue to adapt to the “new normal”.

Shops have been using deliveries and footfall from bigger stores such to stay afloat.

While BrightHouse and Quiz went into administration during lockdown, independent stores are said to be ready for business.

Jade Wilkie, marketing director of the Forge Shopping Centre, said: “We are surviving. In the first part of this year, we were trading up 25 per cent over last year. We were in a good place before Covid-19. We have only five empty units which is amazing.

“We have lost 80 per cent of traders trading in the centre with non-essential stores closing but we have 10 stores open.

“We are in a better position now than we were two years ago.”

Ms Wilkie expects high street stores to open sooner than shopping centres as stage two of lockdown focuses on “small retail” while stage three is expected to allow larger indoor shopping centres to open. She says it is difficult to say when the Forge will fully open up.

David Linden, MP for Glasgow East, said: “I have been in touch with the Forge. I want to see it open as quickly as possible and ­people getting back to trading but we need to do so with public health in mind. I have every sympathy with the Forge and getting things open and people getting back to work but it has to be balanced with public health.

“Since we went into lockdown I have spent most of my day on the phone to local businesses and bigger companies and one of the things they were appreciative of was that we are providing as much information as possible.

“There is the reality here that we are in a global pandemic. Nobody trains you for this. It is not an ideal situation. The route map which was published by the Scottish Government outlined fairly comprehensively when we anticipated when things can reopen has been helpful.”

Calton councillor Robert Connelly said: “It is good to hear the Forge Shopping Centre feel that things are going well. I do think there are still concerns as 80 per cent of shops have been closed.”