RATES at The Avenue shopping centre could risk a retailer exodus, according to several shop owners.
Butchers Charles Frazer will not be renewing its lease at the end of the year and, in conversations with The Extra, a number of other proprietors stated they would also be leaving.
Stuart Adams, manager of Charles Frazer Quality Meat told The Extra: “The current rates do not take into account either the impact of Silverburn or the financial crisis.
“Things have changed and if rates don’t change with it they’ll have no shops left.”
A spokeswoman from The Avenue said: “We will be announcing significant investment over the coming months which will enhance further the tremendous retail experience enjoyed by our many regular shoppers.
“That investment has only been made possible by the continued popularity of The Avenue, which has been consistently supported by its many loyal customers and attracted new customers, and remained fully-let throughout a challenging economic period.”
Officers at East Renfrewshire council confirmed plans to engage with owners and management to deliver some physical enhancements in 2014, as well as promotional activity to help The Avenue compete with rival shopping centres.
A spokesman said: “We always try to take the most appropriate approach to supporting local town and neighbourhood shopping centres.”
The rateable value for premises at the shopping centre is set by Renfrewshire Valuation Joint Board, in conjunction with the Scottish government. The local authority is then tasked with collecting the money.