A MAJOR jobs boost is coming to Johnstone as three retail giants set up shop at the historic Paton’s Mill site.

It was confirmed yesterday that discount retailers Aldi and Home Bargains will be joined by coffee chain Starbucks as the town centre development takes shape.

Scores of jobs will be created but some of the town’s existing traders fear the multi-million pound investment will be bad for their business.

Allan Henderson, chairman of the Johnstone Business Consortium (JBC), told The Gazette: “There are only so many groceries you can buy.

“We already have a Lidl and a Morrisons and these supermarkets end up tapping into all sorts of other businesses.

“The consortium has discussed these plans at some length and the development isn’t going to do us any favours.

“As Paton’s Mill was the last working mill in Scotland, I feel it could have been used as a museum or a lovely landscaped area that would attract people into Johnstone.”

However, bosses at Aldi insist the development will be a boost for Johnstone.

The German firm will begin the recruitment process for its new store next month, with customers expected to be pouring through the doors by November.

Up to 25 new jobs will be created by Aldi, with similar numbers expected to be employed by both Home Bargains and Starbucks.

Richard Holloway, managing director of Aldi Scotland, said: “In addition to creating new jobs, our new stores increase Aldi’s footprint across the country.”

Starbucks has signed a lease for a drive-thru restaurant located at the High Street entrance to the development.

A spokesperson for OCO Westend, the Starbucks franchise moving into Paton’s Mill, said: “We pride ourselves on being very community focussed and are very excited to be opening in Johnstone in 2018.”