£20m Linwood town centre set for opening

LINWOOD has been given a multi-million pound kiss of life after its town centre was dubbed the country's "most dismal."

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LINWOOD has been given a multi-million pound kiss of life after its town centre was dubbed the country's "most dismal."

A £20million rejuvenation at the heart of the community is about to be completed when a new Tesco store opens its doors next week.

Britain's biggest supermarket chain has picked up the bill for demolishing the carbuncle of a town centre and replacing it with a store and community hub. Bulldozers were brought in to remove a cluster of shops which were more synonymous with vandalism than a retail hub when a complete makeover got under way two years ago.

An ageing community hall and library were flattened along with shops.

In their place Tesco bosses have laid new roads and built a new glass-fronted Tweedie Hall and library, as well as a clutch of retail units, which have all been snapped up by traders from a leading pharmacist to a Subway eatery.

Tesco even offered to replace an existing health centre but NHS chiefs decided to keep operating their town centre facility.

The final piece of the jigsaw will be put in place next Thursday with the opening of the 40,000sq ft Tesco store.

The people of Linwood have been given a new town centre while more than 220 locals have been recruited to work in the store.

Among them are 45 long-term unemployed who have been offered a lifeline back to the world of work.

Mark Macmillan, leader of Renfrewshire Council, welcomed the development and the jobs.

He added: "The new Tesco store in Linwood will play a central role in the ongoing regeneration of the town."

Staff have already been involved in support community projects in the area even although the new Tesco doesn't open its doors until next Thursday at 8am, with celebrations for customers two hours later.

Store manager Colin Caldow said: "We are delighted to be opening a store in Linwood."

gordon.thomson@ eveningtimes.co.uk

retail

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