The Scottish Government, over the weekend, granted provisional approval to North Lanarkshire Council’s £73million business plan to create the infrastructure needed for its long-awaited Ravenscraig development.

Planning permissions for a, Tax Incremental Funding (TIF) funded, seven-mile-long dual carriageway, which will stretch from the Chapehall junction of the M8 motorway to the M74, was key to what would be a huge remediation project.

Under the TIF scheme North Lanarkshire Council is allowed to borrow the cash needed to complete the link with business rates raised from a newly built town centre ring-fenced and used to repay the costs.

North Lanarkshire Council’s head of regeneration services, Maureen McConachie, said: “We are studying the terms of the provisional approval of the business plan and will have further discussions with both the Scottish Futures Trust and site developers Ravenscraig Ltd on how best to progress.

“Obviously, on a regeneration scheme of this scale, there are still a number of details to be resolved. Nevertheless we are delighted to have passed this crucial milestone.”

The first phase of development at Ravenscraig is well underway with the construction of the new £70million Motherwell College campus, opening of the £31million Ravenscraig Regional Sport Facility and completion of the first houses on the site.

The entire project is expected to take up to 30 years to complete in a series of standalone phases over 20 to 30 years, creating 12,600 jobs and attract more than £1.2billion in private sector investment.

Luke Walsh

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