AN East Renfrewshire pub has created what it believes is one of the biggest beer gardens on the south side of Glasgow.

Rick Houston of The Cartvale at Busby has been working on the project since January.

He noted he had undertaken much of the £6,000 transformation himself with the help of friends who have donated their time and local suppliers who have provided items at cost.

Mr Houston declared: "Taking over a pub in the middle of a pandemic wasn’t ideal timing but I’ve no regrets."

He has expanded the garden at the pub to seat 100 people, and invested in new furniture, canopies, "festoon lighting", and "quirky" decorations, with additions including ice buckets in barrels and planting displays.

There is also a new cabin in the garden called The Shack Out the Back, which will sell hot drinks, ice creams and sweet and savoury snacks all day.

Mr Houston said he hopes to attract walkers and cyclists visiting the area as well as local residents, and is including cycle racks and dog treats.

During pub opening hours, The Shack will double as an order point ensuring speedier service for customers sitting outside, he added.

Mr Houston noted he had received "90% rent cuts for much of the pandemic" from the owner, Star Pubs & Bars.

He said: "The community is desperate for The Cartvale to reopen and any sense of normality - they’ve missed the camaraderie of the pub and many of them are keen to have a proper draught pint again. We’re very grateful to the community, they’ve got behind us and supported us every step of the way. The whole team is excited - we can’t wait to welcome people back.

“It has been a tough time for pubs. We’ve been fortunate to have received 90% rent cuts...Many licensees haven’t been so lucky and are in a precarious position. For pubs to thrive long term, further Government support is required including permanent VAT cuts. Draconian and nonsensical restrictions must go and pubs be allowed to serve alcohol and open during the licensable hours. If we can trade properly, I’m optimistic and think pubs will have a fantastic summer.”