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Six up for huge Tesco move


SIX FIRMS are in the mix to build a £75 million distribution centre in Scotland for supermarket giant Tesco.

The retailer is closing two distribution centres in Dundee and Livingston and is planning a move to another site just outside Livingston.

The new facility will be at Deans Industrial Estate just off the M8 motorway and will cover around 93,000 sq m.

The 50 ha site was formerly occupied by Japanese electronics firm NEC but it closed its factory four years ago. The closure left 1,200 people unemployed and NEC failed to find a buyer for the factory, in which it had invested £1 billion. Demolition of the building was completed earlier this year.

The half dozen chasing the Tesco deal are Barr, Bowmer & Kirkland, Carillion, Kier, Laing O'Rourke and Taylor Woodrow.

A source at a contractor that did not make the cut said: 'Unfortunately we're not lucky enough to be on Tesco's lists so we're going to be missing out on this one. It's absolutely huge and is going to be warmly welcomed after the mess that was made with the last industrial development there.' It is scheduled to be ready by next summer and when finished will employ 1,400 people.

But the relocation has drawn criticism from workers and politicians in Dundee, where over 400 jobs will be lost.

City council leader Jill Shimi called for Tesco to delay its decision during a council meeting last month. She said there were development sites available in Dundee and unemployment in Livingston was too low to provide the extra workforce. Some of the workers at Dundee have been pressing for union action, including picket lines.

The site was bought for £17 million by a joint venture of developers Rosemound and British Land last year, having been selected from a shortlist of five.

It will let the centre to Tesco.

West Lothian Council said it had not yet received a detailed planning application.