BUSINESSES affected by Sauchiehall Street construction works have welcomed the re-opening of a key Glasgow attraction on the troubled stretch.

Mackintosh at the Willow, formerly the Willow Tearooms, opened its doors last week after a £10million restoration and firms hope it will provide a boost to passing trade.

George Rogers, who runs Mac’s cobbler and locksmith, says his business has been badly hit by months of construction works including the restoration of the tearoom, the Avenue project and the demolition of nearby buildings affected by the fire in March.

Read more: TV's Lorraine Kelly says it's "heartbreaking" to see demise of once thriving Glasgow street 

Jane Laiolo, the Group Manager of the council's City Deal Team, has urged Mr Rogers and other businesses to contact city centre councillors and the Lord Provost to ask for businesses affected by the Avenue project to be compensated for loss of trade.

Mr Rogers said: “Eighteen months ago contractors started renovating the old Willow Tea Rooms. The first thing they did was build a work space at the front of the building. It stuck 20 feet out onto the pavement and acted just like a chicane on a race track.

"Passing trade is so important to us and the hoarding not only masked the front of Mac's from view but channelled customers away from the shop.

"Hopefully things will improve now.

Read more: Willow Tearooms re-open after £10million revamp

"Mackintosh at the Willow is exactly what Sauchiehall Street needs right now – an attraction to generate footfall and bring tourists and customers back.

“Charles Rennie Mackintosh is very popular.

“The Willow Tea Rooms Trust has also said that the attraction won’t rely solely on its sales.

“That should give some stability after the loss of so many other Sauchiehall Street businesses and the problems caused by the fire at Victoria’s nightclub and the Sauchiehall Street Avenue works.”