Elaine’s starring role in relaunch

Elaine C Smith
Elaine C Smith

Motherwell’s own theatrical superstar Elaine C Smith has landed a starring role in the relaunch of the town’s main shopping mall.

The Brandon Shopping Centre will be officially renamed as Motherwell Shopping Centre later this month.

Elaine’s free gala performance on Friday, October 18, will also mark the completion of a £450,000 refurbishment programme, funded by Chester Properties who operate the centre and the launch of the town’s free wi-fi system which is a joint venture between Motherwell Shopping Centre and North Lanarkshire Council.

Elaine will be joined on a temporary stage in the centre, by a host of local dignitaries for the star spangled ceremony.

William Gear, director of Chester Properties who operate Motherwell Shopping Centre, said: “We want to create a party atmosphere at the launch, and Elaine is the natural choice to make it a memorable and entertaining event.

“We are delighted she accepted our invitation to officially unveil our new look, our new name and our new wifi system, and we want as many as possible of our shoppers, traders and the public to come along and join in the fun.”

Elaine, who was brought up in Newarthill said: “It was a fantastic thrill for me as a Motherwell girl to be asked to relaunch our local shopping centre.

“I just jumped at the chance to do something for my home town.

“I can honestly say I remember the centre when it wasn’t there, and as schoolgirls my pals and I used to wander up and down Brandon Street, which is now of course the main shopping mall.”

Elaine recently completed a hugely successful UK tour of the musical ‘I Dreamed a Dream’, based on Susan Boyle’s life story, and just a few weeks ago packed out Motherwell’s Concert Hall with her one-woman show.

As well as the gala relaunch ceremony from 10.30-11.30am on October 18, there will also be a family fun event running from 10am-2pm.

All activities will be free with a host of children’s entertainers on hand including face painting, jugglers, stilt walkers, magician, balloon modeller and fire eater.

Mr Gear added: “There is of course a serious side to the ceremony because it marks some significant milestones in the development of the centre.

“We feel the new name Motherwell Shopping Centre better reflects our role at the heart of the town centre.

“We are immensely proud of our refurbishment programme which creates a brighter airier look and atmosphere for our shoppers and should help us attract new businesses.

“It also gives me the chance to thank the Scottish Government and North Lanarkshire Council for committing their regeneration resources to help Motherwell town centre, including the council’s joint venture with us to give Motherwell the area’s first free wifi network.”