HUNDREDS of thousands of pounds of inward investment in a town centre has led to scores of new jobs and helped protect many more.

The investment in Motherwell is highlighted at a time when local residents are being urged to have their say on town centre consultations by North Lanarkshire Council.

Planning convener, councillor James Coyle, said: "Town centres are a vital part of the local economy.

"They are facing tough economic challenges and everyone involved needs to use their local knowledge and work together to ensure our town centres thrive and prosper in the future."

The move was welcomed by Wlliam Gear, director of Chester Properties, which owns and operates Motherwell Shopping Centre.

He said: "We are very pleased that North Lanarkshire Council is creating a realistic blueprint for the future health of the town centre.

"For our part, we invested more than half a million pounds upgrading Motherwell Shopping Centre last summer and we have had great success in letting 90% of our shops, creating around 250 new jobs and helping safeguard the other 1100 jobs the town centre supports."

The company and council chiefs also worked in partnership to bring free wi-fi to the town centre.

Mr Gear said: "We are currently working hard to find a tenant for the vacant upper floor of the old Asda store and to bring new restaurant and cafe uses to this part of the centre."