Johnstone Town Hall exterior

New town hall attracts investment plans for Johnstone.

Building work on the new Johnstone Town Hall is starting to take shape – with the development now attracting proposed private-sector investment in the town.

The owners of the shopping precinct next to the town hall site have submitted a planning application which would see new retail units created.

If approved, it would see the layout of the existing Co-op store altered to include new retail units with improved shopfronts, plus the removal of the existing roof canopies, and the demolition of the vacant and derelict offices upstairs.

Work on the new town hall building is progressing on schedule – with the steelwork frame having risen from the ground since the new year, giving residents an outline of how the completed facility will look when it opens in summer 2015.

Renfrewshire Council has made a major investment in the £14.5m town hall, which will house a new library, marriage suite, theatre and conference space, meeting rooms and a café.

It will also contain offices for council housing and social work staff, as well as Police Scotland and Macmillan Cancer Support.

And councillors have hailed news of the planning application as evidence that the council’s investment in the town hall will pay dividends for Johnstone.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan, said: “The new Johnstone Town Hall is one of the most significant public-sector investments anywhere in Scotland just now.

“It was always our expectation that the project would be the catalyst for the wider regeneration of the town – and the prospect of further development shows that the project has created conditions in which private sector is willing to invest.

“When the new building opens, it will be a hub for life in Johnstone – bringing people into the town centre for work, as well as a wide range of civic and cultural events.

“We expect that the footfall this will bring will benefit businesses throughout the town.”

The town hall building project is also bringing other benefits to the community – with two jobs having been created as a result.

Both Hescott Engineering (the company responsible for the steelworks) and WH Malcolm – who are working on the groundworks and drainage – have taken people on as a result of the community benefits programme.

The programme has also seen two work experience placements so far, and will include a careers day at Johnstone High School later in February for pupils to find out more about the project.

Courtesy of Renfrewshire Council.