The Scottish Parliament has approved the establishment of the first-ever cross party group (CPG) on independent convenience stores.

MSP Gordon MacDonald and the Scottish Grocers’ Federation have been working together for the past 12 months to set up the group.

Eleven MSPs have registered to become members of the group, which has now been officially approved by the Scottish Parliament as required.

Gordon MacDonald MSP was appointed Convenor with John Lee, head of public affairs at SGF, appointed to the Group Secretariat.

MacDonald said: “Convenience stores are the corner stones of our communities. Scotland has more convenience stores per had of population than any other part of the UK and these stores provide over 41,000 jobs – it’s time this important sector in the Scottish economy got the recognition it deserves.”

This is the first time a retail-focused group has been set up within the Scottish Parliament. it aims to provide a unique platform for MSPs to engage with retailers and stakeholders from across the supply chain on the key issues affecting the retail industry in Scotland.

The CPG will now push forward with its next meeting, to be held in the Scottish Parliament on 23rd November.