DISCOUNT supermarket chain Lidl has announced it is to open 12 new Scottish stores in a move which will create around 500 jobs.

The chain already has 98 shops across Scotland, with construction already under way on sites in Dumbarton, Dundee, East Kilbride, Cowdenbeath and Larkhall.

Its most recent store opened in Paisley while existing shops in Alloa and Bathgate will be relocated as part of the firm’s regeneration programme.

Lidl also hopes to have a new regional distribution centre at Eurocentral, North Lanarkshire, fully operational by November – replacing the existing warehouse in Livingston.

Ross Millar, Lidl’s regional director for Scotland, said: “Since opening our very first store in Scotland 25 years ago, we’ve opened our doors to towns and cities across the country, employing more than 2200 people.

“We’re incredibly excited by our ambitious growth plans, and in particular the opening of our 100th store next year, which reinforces our commitment to creating new jobs and providing communities with quality produce at prices that are affordable for everyone.”

As part of its regeneration programme, Lidl will be enhancing a number of its existing stores, either through extensions or relocations to bigger sites, in order to cater for growing demand in areas that the supermarket already serves.

This includes the relocation of its Alloa and Bathgate stores, which have served their local communities since 1995 and 1999 respectively.

In April, Lidl welcomed local politicians to the construction site of its new warehouse in Eurocentral, which is set to be fully operational by November.

Guests including Airdrie and Shotts MP Neil Gray, Central Scotland MSP Graham Simpson, and North Lanarkshire Council’s chief executive Des Murray and leader Jim Logue had a chance to see the £70 million warehouse taking shape with the full framework of the building now erected.

The 58,000 sqm distribution centre will be Lidl’s largest in Britain when it opens, and will replace its existing Scottish warehouse in Livingston, helping to support the supermarket’s future growth across Scotland. Lidl stocks more than 300 products from more than 60 suppliers in Scotland.