Johnstone will benefit from further works to enhance the town centre under plans being considered by councillors.

Johnstone Town Hall 25
Additional improvements to public spaces, traffic flow and parking provision have been identified as key to making it a successful retail, employment, social and cultural hub.

If adopted by Renfrewshire Council, the Johnstone Town Centre Strategy would build on recent major investment to enhance its ability to grow and adapt to changing circumstances.

The strategy follows a consultation with local communities and reflects their opinions on the area’s use and strengths.

Councillor Terry Kelly, convener of the Planning and Property Policy Board, explained: “The town centre has an important role providing key services for people both in Johnstone and across west Renfrewshire.

“It has a distinctive, historic character and a rich industrial heritage. We are absolutely determined that it will also have a very positive future.”

He continued: “The £14.5m investment in building the new town hall delivered a focal point for community and civic uses, clearly showing the strength of our commitment to Johnstone.

“We have also taken action to improve town centre access as well as lighting and street furniture within its public spaces.

“There are real opportunities to make further, significant improvements to the town centre environment and ensure it looks good, feels safe and attracts visitors, residents and businesses.”

Plans to enhance the town centre environment focus on entrance ‘gateways’ to create a sense of arrival and link to key pedestrian routes, increasing footfall and encouraging visitors to stay longer.

Initial works to improve the Houston Court precinct have already been completed and further phases are proposed for 2017.

Daily patrols of the town centre by community wardens and regular maintenance – including street cleaning, litter picks and grass cutting – would be maintained under the strategy, accompanied by further investment to improve the environment at Provost Close.

Action to support the local economy would see Renfrewshire Council‘s Retail Improvement Scheme continue to help businesses improve shopfronts, with funding also used to encourage the creation of new businesses.

The strategy proposes that the council work with public and private sector partners to support new retail, office and residential use in the town centre.

It also envisages Renfrewshire Council working with groups including the Johnstone Business Consortium and Johnstone Community Council to deliver new events that encourage activity within the town centre and boost the local economy.

The Johnstone Town Centre Strategy will be considered at a meeting of the Planning and Property Policy Board on Tuesday 8 November.