700 staff to be recruited for new-look St Enoch Centre

Hundreds of new jobs are to be created in the centre of Glasgow as the city gears up for a major retail boom.

The new-look St Enoch Centre is to generate up to 700 extra jobs in the coming months and yesterday store chiefs launched a recruitment drive to find the city's next generation of shop workers.

The announcement comes as the owners of the shopping arcade prepare to complete a 100m extension that will add 40 new stores and 250,000sqft of extra floor space.

Already several major retailers plan to open shops at the St Enoch Centre in the run-up to Christmas, while negotiations are being held with other popular high street store chains.

The enlarged retail complex will offer more than one million square feet of shopping and an army of new recruits is needed.

Owners Ivanhoe Cambridge are teaming up with Glasgow's regeneration agencies, Glasgow Works, JobCentre Plus and Skills Development Scotland as part of the jobs initiative called St Enoch Working.

Susan Nicol, St Enoch Centre general manager, said: "From the earliest stages of our redevelopment programme one of our key aims has been to open doors to a wide range of skills and employment options for the local community.

"In this next phase of St Enoch Working the emphasis will be on recruitment assistance for new retailers as well as additional recruitment and training opportunities for existing retailers.

"With over 2500 people working in the centre, St Enoch has been a major employer in Glasgow since it first opened its doors in 1989.

"We have been synonymous with the huge growth and success of Glasgow retail and, as we near the completion of our redevelopment programme, I'm delighted that we will be able to maintain and enhance our support for the local community."

Details of permanent and part-time jobs will be made available at a recruitment fair at the centre, which will end on Saturday.

Dozens of new recruits will be hired in the coming weeks as stores prepare for the Christmas rush.

World-famous toy store Hamleys is about to open in St Enoch - its first UK store outside London - while new stores are planned by H&M, Costa Coffee, jewellery and handbag chain Folli Follie and fashion retailer PULP.

Existing anchor retailers Boots, Debenhams and Dorothy Perkins are also investing heavily in their stores in the centre.