A REVITALISATION of Kelso's main shopping centre is continuing with three new businesses expected to open within weeks.
Kelso Centrepoint owner Praba Kulasegaram is investing heavily in the shopping centre, helping to bankroll some of the new businesses while opening others himself.
The first newcomer will be a tobacconist shop, King Of The Pack, due to to open on Friday. A bakery is also on the drawing board along with reopening the centre's laundromat.
Mr Kulasegaram said the bakery would benefit from the closure of Beck's Bakery in the Bathurst CBD last week.
It will be run by a baker who previously worked at Beck's and the baking equipment - now held in storage at the shopping centre's currently inoperational laundromat - had been sourced from Beck's.
"I'm focused on filling as many of the centre's empty shops as I can," Mr Kulasegaram said.
"Too many people in Kelso still think it is cheaper and easier just to take a quick trip into town. We want them to shop here."
Mr Kulasegaram said every new business he could attract to the centre would also be a boost for the existing businesses, including the Kelso Centrepoint Newsagency, Allen Quality Meats, Kelso Family Takeaway and Mr Kulasegaram's own Foodworks supermarket.
"People are very positive about what we are doing," he said.
"They say it is great to see new businesses coming into the centre.
"The new businesses will bring more people into the centre and that will benefit all the tenants."
Mr Kulasegaram said Kelso's reputation was changing, but conceded it was a long haul.
He said the suburb had a terrible image when he arrived more than a decade ago and while there were still problems - including a drug bust at a house directly opposite the shopping centre last weekend - he was confident they were moving in the right direction.
Bring more people into the centre and that will benefit all the tenants.Praba Kulasegaram
"I can only worry about what we are doing here, I can't do anything about what's happening across the road," he said.
"Kelso's reputation is changing and over the past five or six years there has been a lot of improvement.
"It will just keep getting better."
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