A MAJOR project to transform the historic Paton’s Mill has taken a giant step forward after contractors were appointed yesterday.

The owners of the former shoelace mill site in Johnstone announced the appointment of Bell Building Projects Limited as the main contractor to develop Paton’s Mill Retail Park.

The Gazette understands that Aldi, Home Bargains and Starbucks have been lined up as potential tenants, with an announcement expected within weeks.

4th Developments, owner of the Paton’s Mill site, has confirmed that work on Phase 1 of the multi-million pound development masterplan is now under way.

The £3.5million scheme to build a supermarket, non-food retail unit and drive-thru is scheduled for completion this summer.

Claire Donaldson, of 4th Consulting, project and asset managers for the scheme, said the site would provide an “exciting new gateway” for Johnstone’s high street.

“We’re pleased to announce Bell Building Projects Limited as the main contractor. As a local, experienced team, the company offers an extremely high quality of service and a strong track record in retail park construction.

“The contractor has been on site since mid-December and is working towards completion of Phase 1 of the development masterplan in summer 2018.”

Based in Glasgow, Bell Building Projects has been behind developments such as the Jaguar and Volvo car showrooms at Hillington and Braehead, as well as the A&D logistics facility at Paisley’s Phoenix Retail Park.

Managing director Martin Bell said: “We are delighted to be involved in the revitalisation of this historic site ... which will be a superb addition to the local area.

“We have a strong history in retail construction both in the high street and out of town developments and look forward to adding Paton’s Mill Retail Park to our successfully completed projects.”