JOHN Watson, the Scottish entrepreneur and philanthropist, has been revealed as a major backer of the latest Social Bite cafe in Glasgow.

The social enterprise co-founded by Josh Littlejohn opened the café on Sauchiehall Street close to Buchanan Galleries last week.

And it can be revealed that the venture has been backed by Mr Watson, a long-standing supporter of Social Bite through The Watson Foundation.

Mr Watson established the philanthropic vehicle after he sold his long-established printing business – John Watson and Company – to Muti Colour Corporation of Ohio in a multi-million-pound deal in 2013. The foundation has been a constant supporter of Social Bite since.

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Social Bite was set up by Mr Littlejohn and Alice Thompson in 2012 to help tackle homelessness by providing jobs in its cafes to people affected by the issue or are facing difficulty finding employment. Its cafes offer a “pay it forward” scheme which allows the public to buy a meal or hot drink for someone in need.

The new Glasgow outlet will welcome homeless and vulnerable people to access a free hot drink and meal at various times throughout the day, alongside paying customers, and 100 per cent of the profits generated by the café will be reinvested in Social Bite’s mission to end homelessness.

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Mr Littlejohn said: “The support of John Watson and The Watson Foundation has been critical to the work of Social Bite and John has been an invaluable partner to us on our journey. He remains not just one of Scotland’s foremost business voices but a hugely respected leader in the area of philanthropy.

“Crucial to our expansion in recent years has been the financial support we have received from The Watson Foundation and we will always be grateful for this essential contribution.

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“We are thrilled to open our new flagship coffee shop in the heart of Glasgow. I really see this venture as the new blueprint for our social enterprise business model – offering the best-in-class food, coffee and environment for our customers to enjoy, whilst also making a massive difference to people in a situation of homelessness in the city.

"I would encourage all Glaswegians to come and enjoy some great coffee and food for themselves and to pay it forward for someone in need. We can’t wait to welcome you in.”

Mr Watson said: “I’m delighted to be helping Social Bite in its vital mission to tackle and end homelessness. Josh and the Social Bite team are a remarkable group of people who time and again put others first. We remain deeply committed to Social Bite and all that it is trying to achieve.”