GOUROCK has checked out as number one in Scotland for independent retailers.

The town is top of the charts when it comes to its offering of small, boutique shops, according to a new study by the Local Data Company (LDC) in partnership with the University of Stirling.

Analysts found that just under 85 per cent of the shops in Gourock last year were made up of independent businesses.

Town councillor Ronnie Ahlfeld today welcomed the findings.
Cllr Ahlfeld, inset, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic.

“This is the beginning of the journey and we now have to continue working hard to increase football and we’re doing that.”

The nationwide study found that Gourock is one of just four locations in the country with an independent retailer rate above 80 per cent.

Strathaven was in second place at 82.4 per cent followed by Rothesay (81.9), Moffat (80.8) and the Isle of Bute (78.9).

Gourock also posted the biggest rise in the independent retailer rate since the annual LDC study began in 2013 - up by nearly six per cent.

In four years the rate has risen from 78.8 to 84.6 per cent.

Over the last few years Gourock has had an enviable record of very few retail units lying empty across the main shopping areas in Kempock Street and Shore Street.

The town was given a £5.2 million makeover in 2015, including a new one-way road system, walkways, improved public areas and extra parking spaces, to help boost trade and visitor numbers.

There has also been substantial investment in its railway station and historic 108-year-old outdoor pool.