SHOPKEEPERS are setting out their stall to turn around the fortunes of Greenock's main town centre street.

Businesses in West Blackhall Street and surrounding areas are holding a think tank meeting on Thursday to come up with a strategy to promote the area.

Proposals include closing a section of West Blackhall Street to hold events and late night Christmas shopping nights in December.

Chris Jewell, of Cradle Care, which has been trading for 26 years, said: "We are keen to revitalise the area and make it the premiere shopping street in Inverclyde.

"That will take a bit of doing but a lot of us are keen to make it happen."

Newcomer Mairi Coventry, who opened her Wee Crafty Owl shop in Jamaica Street six months ago, was one the retailers who came up with the idea.

She said: "We are looking at late night shopping and ways to create a bit more community spirit.

"We want to do something to get more people walking along the street and see what is here."

David Whiteside is the director of the Stewart Centre Ltd and and owns 16 of the 23 shops there, and the businessman also factors premises in Nicolson Street.

He says the future is in holding events to bring customers into the area.

David said: "I am one of the oldest traders in the town.

"We have long term plans to close a section of the street to hold particular events."

Ashleigh Beaton, co-owner of Infinity Beauty in West Blackhall Street, said: "We have quiet and busy periods but the message is there are a lot of businesses trying to make it.

"We are doing quite well, we're still here.

"I think there is a lack of co-operation and parking is another thing.

"It's quite difficult to find somewhere to park and when people do find a space they have to pay for it."

Omar Khan, 23, who helps to run his dad's shop Lights and Gifts in Jamaica Street, said: "I like the idea of businesses being pro-active."

Thursday's meeting will be held in the Wee Crafty Owl shop 5.30pm

If anyone is interested attending they they should email Chris Jewell on