‘Save Our Lane!’ is a campaign determined to save the independence of Otago Lane, Glasgow. The lane is a small cobbled street in the west end of the city and plays host to a variety of small businesses such as bookshop Voltaire & Rousseau, Mixed Up Records and the Tchi-Ovna tea shop, all of which are facing closure in order to accommodate a new 163 apartment venture.
The development will consist of four city centre style high rise blocks with commercial units and is being proposed by the company, Otago Lane Ltd. There is not enough space for these businesses to exist in partnership with the other flats in the location as it is cramped between the River Kelvin and Otago Street (off Gibson Street, Hillhead, Glasgow).
The businesses which currently occupy the desired location are all successful and have a loyal following, with students and professionals alike. Some of the shops are known nationally and have been featured in the national press with the likes of The Guardian newspaper nominating Tchi-Ovna, the specialist tea house, as “one of the top ten locations in Scotland”. Tchi-Ovna is not alone. Voltaire & Rousseau, Kenneth Chappell’s Clock Shop and Mixed Up Records all have a nationwide reputation too. All of these businesses are long established and have no desire to shut up.
Even though the lane has been used for many things (a local dairy in the 19th Century) there is no desire for these successful enterprises to close or be silenced. The local association of these shops ‘Save Our Lane!’ has announced there will be a demonstration to resist the closing of the shops and the street for development. The demonstration will take place on 16/10/2010, starting 2pm.