A new Lidl store has been opened in Lancashire with a B&M Bargains to follow next month.

Community groups joined the Mayor, MP Rosie Cooper, and Leader of West Lancashire Borough Council, Councillor Yvonne Gagen to mark the opening of the eagerly-awaited Tawd Valley Centre in Skelmersdale.

The Mayor, Councillor Marilyn Westley had the honour of laying the final paving stone to officially mark the completion of the project.

With the Lidl store now open, B&M Bargains is set to open on July 6, while talks with a third retailer are in the final stages.

The area adjacent to the retail park has been upgraded to include an exciting new play area in Tawd Valley Park for families to explore.

And a new high street now links West Lancashire College with the rest of the town centre.

Improvements will also be made to the public areas outside Skelmersdale Library to make them more attractive spaces for residents to enjoy.

Rosie Cooper, MP for West Lancashire, said: “Skelmersdale has waited a long time, so it's great to see that a new town centre has finally begun to appear.

"Many residents thought it would never happen but here it is, the first part - soon hopefully to be followed by a new Leisure and Wellbeing Hub.

"I will continue to push for more retail, family restaurants and everything else that new Skelmersdale Town Centre needs."

Leader of West Lancashire Borough Council, Councillor Yvonne Gagen, added: "This is a very important day, not just for the people of Skelmersdale, but West Lancashire as a whole.

"The new town centre development will bring economic and social benefits for the borough's communities long into the future and will greatly enhance the borough's appeal as a great place to live, work and invest, providing increased opportunities for many.

"This development is a significant step towards a future where everyone in West Lancashire will be able to take advantage of a positive economic outlook and vastly improved health and wellbeing outcomes.

"The people of West Lancashire deserve this and I'm delighted we have delivered it."

Minister for Levelling Up, Neil O’Brien MP, said: ''Supported by £2million from the government’s Growth Deal, Skelmersdale’s new and improved town centre will help deliver opportunity and prosperity for all.

''With new retailers already opening up, the Tawd Valley Centre will serve as a shining example of levelling up in action in West Lancashire.”

The town centre redevelopment scheme has been a partnership between the borough council and developer St. Modwen, supported by the Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal Fund. Construction partners for the project have been Caddick Construction.

Chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Debbie Francis OBE, said: “It’s fantastic to see how £2m of Growth Deal funding from has helped deliver the Skelmersdale Town Centre redevelopment project.

"It’s also a great example of how strategic LEP investments like these can bring benefits to local businesses while also improving retail, leisure and lifestyle amenities for all residents.”

The new town centre complex is part of the exciting regeneration plan for Skelmersdale.

This also includes drawing up a detailed masterplan for the site of the former Glenburn Sports College, part of which has been set aside for a new railway station.