DISCOUNT supermarket chain Lidl enlisted the help of North Lanarkshire Schools Pipe Band yesterday to formally launch operations at its biggest distribution centre in Britain – a £70 million facility at Eurocentral in Motherwell.

Already, around 600 Lidl staff have relocated to the new centre from its existing distribution centre in Livingston, and the company is hoping to create a further 250 jobs.

The 58,500sq m unit will service the retailer’s 99 stores across Scotland – soon to reach a milestone 100 in the New Year.

The Eurocentral site will support its growing stores estate across Scotland

A further 12 new stores are planned over the next three years in locations including Dundee, East Kilbride, Cowdenbeath, Larkhall and Dumbarton.

Ross Millar, Lidl GB’s regional director for Scotland, said: “We’re very excited to be celebrating the opening of our new Eurocentral distribution centre, which represents a pivotal moment in our ambitious growth plans across Scotland.

“The warehouse underlines our commitment to creating more jobs for Scotland and I’d like to extend my thanks to both store and warehouse colleagues, who’ve worked so hard to get us to where we are today.”

The discount retailer is also planning to open a further four warehouses by 2025 across England.

Lidl has experienced continued growth across Scotland over the past 25 years and currently sources more than 300 products from 60 Scottish suppliers.

As well as planned new stores, the company is involved in a wider regeneration programme which has seen the relocation of existing outlets, such as in Alloa and Bathgate, to bigger sites to cater for growing demand. Its original shop in Alloa opened in 1995 and Bathgate in 1999.

In August, Lidl became the first supermarket in the UK to introduce reusable fruit and vegetable bags in all its stores in an attempt to reduce plastic waste.

Its Green Bags were priced at 69p a pair, offering a reusable alternative to small single-use bags. The scheme built on the company’s commitment to reducing plastic packaging by a fifth by 2022 and ensuring that by 2025, all of its own-brand packaging is widely recyclable, reusable, refillable or renewable.