MARKS & Spencer is to create hundreds of new jobs in Glasgow's East End.

The High Street retail giant has resurrected plans to open a flagship store as part of a multi-million pound blueprint to expand the Glasgow Fort Shopping Park by almost a half.

M&S chiefs are to recruit around 250 staff - permanent and part time - for their new 80,000 sq ft store while four other new retailers and a restaurant are set to generate another 250 jobs.

The others who will share 32,000 sq ft of floor space have not been named but Fort officials are locked in talks with a number of potential traders and operators and announcements are expected shortly.

Confirmation that the £45m expansion is going ahead after it was abandoned five years ago comes just days after construction work got under way on the south side of the horseshoe shaped retail hub.

Fort manager Phil Goodman said: "We are delighted that this much-anticipated development has now started. Marks & Spencer is a fantastic name to add to our list of stores and we are confident it will be a major draw for people visiting the park."

Recruitment will be carried out by Jobs & Business Glasgow, an arms length external organisation launched by Glasgow City Council three years ago to boost the city's economic development.

Councillor Jonathan Findlay, chairman, said: "We are delighted that hundreds of jobs are on their way to Glasgow's East End with this new development.

"Glasgow Fort is a significant contributor to the local economy and this news of further employment opportunities is very welcome indeed."

The 500 new recruits will start in a year's time when building work is completed.

The Fort currently has 84 stores and restaurants which together employ 2500 workers. The majority - around 1,600 - are people who live in the East End.

Buoyant trading was the main reason why the Fort's owners built Glasgow's first Vue multi-screen cinema and five eateries last year at a cost of £9m.

That development generated 300 new jobs.

Bosses also hope to get the go-ahead for a proposed multi-storey car park for 600 vehicles.