BRAEHEAD Shopping Centre is in line for a £200million development with potential for up to 5,000 new jobs, it was announced last night.
The busy Renfrew complex will be extended with the addition of a new department store and a hotel as well as a replacement sports and entertainment arena if impressive development plans are given the go-ahead.
The employment boost is the second piece of good news for Renfrewshire with another 120 jobs being created at the new Paisley Retail Park.
Owners of the Renfrew centre Capital Shopping Centres Group (CSC) wants to replace the existing Braehead Arena with a new one suitable for ice and dry sports events, concerts, other entertainment shows, exhibitions and conferences.
A new hotel, cafs, restaurants and civic square would be built at the car park between Braehead and Xscape while a department store is planned for the site of the old Sainsburys petrol station.
There are also proposals for a new public transport interchange for buses which would also accommodate the new Fastlink service, which is hoped will extend from the south side of Glasgow to Braehead and Renfrew.
General manager at the shopping centre, Peter Beagley, said: Braehead has been a key part of the local community and the wider Renfrewshire area for the past 13 years and we are keen to continue our investment for the benefit of the area and, indeed, Scotland.
Our investment will create much-needed jobs for local people and deliver a wider choice of retail and leisure for our customers, as well as significant improvements to public transport and public space.
These proposals will see a huge amount of private investment coming into Renfrewshire and the west of Scotland. With this multi-million pound investment comes the welcome bonus of employment with up to 2,000 construction jobs including apprenticeships for young people and more than 3,000 direct and indirect jobs in leisure and retail when the extension is completed.
We are very keen to make sure as many local people as possible benefit from these jobs and with approval for the project, we will set up a Jobs Shop on site for people to apply for the work that will become available.
A spokesman for CSC emphasised the plans were at an early planning stage and couldnt confirm when the new development would start.
CSC has lodged a Proposal of Application Notice with Renfrewshire Council. This indicates its intention to submit a planning application in principle, which is expected before the end of November.
As part of the notice procedure, there will be a community consultation exercise later this month for shoppers to have their say on the plans.
A spokeswoman for Renfrewshire Council confirmed they had received the Proposal of Application Notice.
CSC also owns The Trafford Centre in Manchester and Metrocentre, Europes largest shopping and leisure centre, in Gateshead.