ONE of the UK's largest pub chains is to open an outlet in East Kilbride.

A Wetherspoon pub is to move into Scotland's largest under-cover shopping centre, where discount retailer Home Bargains is also set to open a store.

Both retailers will be located in the town's Princes Mall, with Home Bargains creating a 13,000sq ft store and JD Wetherspoon taking 5000sq ft.

It is hoped work on both stores will start in the coming weeks.

East Kilbride centre director Ian McLelland said: "This is great news for EK and will provide even more choice for visitors to the centre.

"Home Bargains and JD Wetherspoon are well known and respected businesses and their arrival at the centre would mark an important milestone in our ongoing programme to improve all aspects of the retail and leisure experience at EK."

Manchester-based Harrison Ince Architects, on behalf of JD Wetherspoon, lodged a planning application with South Lanarkshire Council for the proposed pub, which includes an outdoor seating area.

It will make use of four existing units, with a new entrance being created off Cornwall Street.

Three of the four units are currently occupied by a shoe shop, a charity store and a travel agent, while the fourth is vacant.

JD Wetherspoon's plan is to knock the four units into one, which will create an open plan pub and office space, set over three levels.

The council's planning committee will return its decision next month.

Planning permission for the Home Bargains store was approved last year.

The retailer already has stores in Rutherglen, Hamilton, Airdrie, Wishaw and Glasgow.

Its rival, B&M, has a store in East Kilbride's Queensway Retail Park.

The announcement comes after a number of new store openings at East Kilbride in recent months.

Fashion stores Bank and JD, and jewellery store Pandora are now operating in the Plaza, while H&M opened a 22,000sq ft flagship store in Centre West in November.

Last year, South Lanarkshire Council revealed a £1.5million plan to upgrade the East Kilbride centre's ice rink.