BRAEHEAD is to be designated a town centre after a long battle by Renfrewshire Council.

The local authority says the decision will open up a new and exciting area of economic growth on the area's waterfront.

A Reporter appointed by the Scottish Government originally rejected the council's bid for town centre status.

But Scottish Ministers agreed to support Renfrewshire's local development plan which lays out where housing, retail and industry can be built.

Council leader Mark Macmillan says town centre status will streamline the planning process for developers and bring fresh investment to the area.

He reckons the decision - which follows the signing of the £1.1bn Glasgow and Clyde Valley City Deal to support major infrastructure projects - will deliver a boost for Renfrewshire.

He said: "We are delighted the Scottish Government has agreed with our position on Braehead and supports our plans to bring more jobs to the area.

"The formal adoption of the local development plan ends a period of uncertainty for residents and businesses, meaning we now know what can be built where.

"By giving Braehead the same status as Silverburn and Glasgow Fort, we will be able to bring fresh investment to Renfrewshire. "

The council's local development plan also contains the release of land for new housing.

Mr Macmillan added: "We felt we could deliver homes on brownfield sites instead but reluctantly we had to accept the Reporter's decision."