A Renfrewshire business centre providing new start companies with their first commercial premise has opened in the grounds of a former police station.

Renfrewshire Council has launched its second Start-Up Street centre at the former police station garages in Johnstone.

They’ve been transformed into a sleek enterprise hub offering low-cost rentable workspace for new businesses.

It follows the inaugural centre which opened in Paisley in 2021 and now helps more than 30 growing companies and entrepreneurs.

The Johnstone centre on the town’s Quarry Street has been developed in partnership with local charity Active Communities who’ve turned the main police station building into health and wellbeing hub Station Seven.

Councillor Andy Steel, Convener of Renfrewshire’s Economy and Regeneration Policy Board was invited along to meet some of the businesses based here and hear how this latest venture is going.

This includes catering company Trail Grazers established by Paisley sister-in-law duo Gillian McIntyre and Laura Calvert.

And baby massage business Earth Moon Baby set-up by midwife colleagues, friends and Renfrew neighbours Emma McIvor and Gillian McGall during their own maternity leave.

Councillor Steel said: “It’s fantastic to see this state-of-the-art centre up and running and home to some brilliant new businesses.

“Start-Up Street was developed after a business survey locally showed that new businesses in Renfrewshire were looking for their first premises, but were unsure where to start and were worried about the high costs involved with rent, energy costs, wifi, and so on.

“Just like in Paisley and coming soon in Renfrew, our Johnstone centre provides subsidised workspace which gradually increases until the business is ready to move on to the next stage in their journey.

“And our Business Gateway team are on hand to provide their expert help along the way, making it a perfect package.”

Amanda Moulson, Development Manager at Active Communities’ Station Seven, said: “Station Seven is our brand new community led health and wellbeing hub, providing a modern welcoming space for our programmes and offering a home for other local charities delivering important services to people in Johnstone and across Renfrewshire.

“We’re really proud to be the base for Start-Up Street, being Johnstone’s first start-up business incubator and look forward to collaborating with and supporting the businesses as they develop over the coming years.”

The centre is proving a hit with its initial tenants, Trail Grazers switching their catering operation to the centre from the utility room in Gillian’s house.

Gillian said: “The opportunity at Start-Up Street has been incredible for us and given us real confidence moving forward.

“We’ve set up half our workspace to create our food for orders and half as a front of house space for administration, a collection point, and a space for consulting with our clients.

“We hire the large professional kitchen within Station Seven which gives us the sense of being part of a bigger team.”

And for Emma McIvor, the business support has been invaluable as Earth Moon Baby finds its feet.

She said: “We knew we wanted to run baby massage classes and how to do it. We’re good with our demographics, our target audience, potential turnover.

“We contacted Business Gateway for advice on premises and anything available in terms of funding to help us. It is lovely having a brand-new unit to work from with great facilities. The rent support has enabled us to get our idea off the ground and there has been loads of help offered to us on things like book-keeping and opportunities for networking.”

If you’d like more information search Start-Up Street or call the Council’s Business Gateway team on 0141 530 2406.


Founder of Paisley.org.uk in 1998 and constantly strives to change peoples attitudes to the town, Brian is a self described Paisley Digital Champion who promotes Paisley via any means necessary. You can also follow me on X