Britain's first genuine 'Tesco town' could be on the cards after a local council invited the retail giant to regenerate an entire town centre in Scotland.

Tesco is to consult with 6,200 locals on plans to replace rundown retail facilities in Linwood with a new supermarket and several smaller shop units.

"We are delighted to be at the forefront of such a ground-breaking regeneration scheme," said Nick Gellatly, corporate affairs manager for Scotland.

"A new Tesco store alone will create more than 300 jobs for local people. We hope to put community facilities at the heart of the development and expect this regeneration to include a new library."

However, one sceptical industry source said: "It is very unlikely that the smaller units that will be created will in any way be allowed to rival the services offered by Tesco.

"There is a hint this is something of a publicity stunt for a supermarket that has often, in Scotland, been accused of creating Tesco towns, which ultimately reduce choice for the public."

But the move has been welcomed by many Linwood residents. One contributor to campaigning website Linwoodsucks.com writes: "This is fantastic news."

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