Shopkeepers having to pour their own life savings into their businesses while they wait for their town centre to be upgraded.
Independent traders in Grangemouth admitted this week things are getting near crisis point after they learned it may be autumn 2012 before a developer can be secured to carry out the much anticipated regeneration of the town.
Margaret Griggs ran the Tea Kosy cafe in the town centre for seven years with husband Paul, but the couple were forced to give up the business in 2009.
She said: “We were waiting for the regeneration and it never happened. A lot of the shopkeepers in Grangemouth are now having to prop up their businesses with their own savings.”
Another shopkeeper added: “The sooner they get on with this the better – they are turning this town centre into an industrial estate.”
Jim Waugh, owner of Party Daze, said: “Grangemouth town centre is surrounded by industry and, because of the nature of this, is deemed to be within a hazard zone.
“A large portion of Falkirk Council’s income comes from this industry, yet none of it appears to be reinvested for the benefit of the town or the community.
“We constantly hear from customers how grubby and run down the town now is, much of it caused from the grime coming from industry.”
Falkirk Council has scheduled a meeting with the town centre traders on August 30 which will include an updated presentation from the council’s strategic project manager Pete Reid on town centre regeneration.
A council spokesman said: “The Council is continuing its plans for the regeneration of Grangemouth town centre.
“Due to recent EU legislative changes it requires to publicise the regeneration opportunity at Grangemouth Europe-wide in the Official Journal of the EU.
“This has generated significant interest from developers looking to be considered for the project. It is anticipated this process will result in a developer being selected by autumn 2012.
“Meantime we are working with Town Centre Management Ltd to promote the town centre. The recent Festival of the Sea and continental market were both warmly received and music events will take place over each Saturday in August.”
Work on the long-awaited regeneration of Denny town centre is scheduled to start this month with demolition of a section of the controversial Church Walk block.