Tesco, Dunnes Stores, H&M Hennes lined up for new shopping complex
So is the waiting nearly over? Are the people of the Cumbernauld area soon to have a range of shops which will make the town first choice for shopping, over rival destinations like Glasgow, Falkirk and Stirling?
The key players in the struggle to achieve this gathered in Cumbernauld to reveal the latest state of play.
They told the Cumbernauld News that the long-awaited Tesco superstor development is to start in the next few weeks and that the store will open next January.
And the News was also told that the construction of the long promised Antonine shopping centre off Tryst Road will get underway in September and that it will open for business the following autumn.
Two big names confirmed for the centre are the `Irish Marks & Spencer' Dunnes Stores and Swedish clothing chain H&M Hennes and a vigourous campaign to fill the other 30 or so units is underway.
Naturally, the news has been greeted by all the parties involved. It would bring more than 350 jobs at the Tesco superstore alone.
``This is a great day for Cumbernauld town centre and its local residents,'' said Councillor Barry McCulloch who chairs Campsies Centre Ltd, the Council -owned company overseeing the Phase 5 development.
``I know that this news will be warmly welcomed by the people of Cumbernauld, not just for the added shopping facility but the extra jobs that Tesco is set to create. The council, together with the Campsies Centre has played a key role in securing the development of the new Cumbernauld store,'' added Councillor McCulloch.
``This is just the first step in what I believe will be the development of a shopping centre that locals can be proud of,'' added Councillor McCulloch.
Cumbernauld and Kilsyth MSP Cathie Craigie said: ``I am pleased to welcome the development of a new Tesco superstore in Cumbernauld. This is a step forward in realising the potential of this area as the completion of the town centre is the issue that has been most frequently raised.
``I hope that this marks the turning point in the prospects of a new town centre that we all richly deserve,'' said Mrs Craigie.
Tesco Property manager Douglas Thornton said: ``We are delighted that this new store allows us to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to Cumbernauld.
"The new store will create more than 350 jobs for local people and will bring brighter and better shopping for all our customers.''
Council leader Jim McCabe said:``This is welcome news not only for Cumbernauld but North Lanarkshire as a whole.
``It's great that with major retailers Tesco, Dunnes and H&M already committed, others are seeing Cumbernauld as a prime location and recognise the benefits on offer, including the excellent road links in the area,'' added Councillor McCabe.
``Everyone involved in this project has continued to work together to bring this development to fruition and negotiations are still ongoing to attract further big name retailers.
``North Lanarkshire has suffered a number of job losses recently and I hope this new development will provide a boost to local people looking for employment. The plans for the town centre will also provide significant benefits to the local economy,'' said Councillor McCabe.
I would like to reaffirm the council's commitment to ensuring our town centres offer the best facilities to all our residents,'' he added.
Geoff Springer who is director of London & Regional Properties added: ``It is pleasing to see the Tesco development get underway and it is our intention to start work on our own project over the next few months. Site preparation will get underway in September and we would hope to have the mall open by next autumn.''
Reporting: CLARE GRANT