The owner of a Renfrewshire pub whose new shopfront looks so good it’s stopping traffic has urged other businesses to take advantage of the council funding that helped him.
The outside of Colliers Bar in Johnstone recently received a makeover part-funded by Renfrewshire Council’s Retail Improvement Scheme, which aims to help local businesses improve the conditions of their building frontages.
The long-running scheme has been relaunched for 2019/20 – topped up by an additional £100,000 investment via the council’s budget for the year.
And the owner of Colliers Bar, which sits in a prime spot on the corner of the town’s Houstoun Square, is delighted with the difference the money made.
Jamie Robertson – who owns the bar along with his dad Alan – said: “The reaction from punters has been brilliant – people coming in have said it looks so much better than it did before
“We even had a taxi driver tell us he was stopped at the traffic lights outside and missed the green light because he was admiring the building for too long!
“We knew about the retail improvement scheme as we were funded through it a few years ago for our other pub – the Club Bar in Moss St, Paisley – so we called the council to see what could be done.
“We felt Colliers has so much potential and over the past couple of years we’ve done a lot of work on the interior, but the outside needed modernised too.
“The builders did everything from ground up – new signage, new shutter, new doors, and redid the walls to match sandstone of the upper floors. People say it looks like a cocktail bar now.
“We want to thank the council for their help and we would definitely recommend the retail improvement scheme to other businesses – they should take advantage of the funding.”
Renfrewshire Council leader Cllr Nicolson added: “One of our key priorities as a council is to work with businesses to create conditions in which they will want to invest.
“In this case we can help them bring new life and footfall to retail areas across Renfrewshire by improving the look of existing buildings and helping bring empty ones back into use.
“The retail improvement scheme is always in high demand – which is why we prioritised it for extra investment in this year’s budget.
“The owners of Colliers Bar have put in a lot of work to transform the pub – and we are delighted to have helped them improve the look of such a prominent site in the town.”
Since its launch in 2012, the retail improvement scheme has assisted about 150 Renfrewshire businesses and helped bring 40 vacant retail units back into use.
It covers grants for commercial premises in established retail areas and covers external repainting, new signage, security measures, frontage replacement and building repairs.
Owners and tenants can apply for the council to cover up to 70% of costs – up to a maximum of £8,000. This year’s application deadlines are in June and September – to apply and for more details visit www.invsetinrenfrewshire.com