Amber Taverns, the wet-led community pub operator, has secured its first site in Scotland, MCA understands.

The James Baer-led group, has taken on the former Bar & Grill site in Causeyside, Paisley.

The pub is set to open in December after a full refurbishment.

Baer told MCA he was keen to expand further north of the border but that the company wanted to ensure they understood the local market properly before a more widerspread rollout.

The c140-strong group, which is also looking to stretch its geographic reach into the south west and east of England, has also recently secured the former Poundworld site in Ivegate, Bradford, with an opening earmarked for Q1 next year, subject to planning and licensing.

Baer said he saw further opportunity in filling the gaps being created in the high street, adding “We are reviewing a number of ex retail properties at present but sometimes there is a gap between freeholders book values and realistic values in today’s market , the bridging of this gap takes time, which is understandable.”

On expansion in Scotland, he said: “We will take it steady. We think Scotland is a good market but are sure there will be some lessons to be learnt along the way and we want to get our offerings right.”