DCSIMG

MSP wants answers on Airbles House

ongoing concern: Motherwell and Wishaw MSP John Pentland (right) and MP Frank Roy outside Airbles House.

ongoing concern: Motherwell and Wishaw MSP John Pentland (right) and MP Frank Roy outside Airbles House.

MSP John Pentland has demanded to know why a £2.8 million office block built in Motherwell four years ago has been empty ever since.

Mr Pentland, MSP for Motherwell and Wishaw, has written to Scottish Enterprise to ask what involvement they have had - and what action they are taking - with regard to Airbles House.

Mr Pentland said there was a suspicion that the building in Airbles Road has been used for tax breaks and property speculation, with no significant effort being made to let the property.

And he said that suspicion had been reinforced by comments from a potential tenant about the lack of interest when they made enquiries.

His concerns have also been shared by local MP Frank Roy.

Mr Pentland said: “Airbles House has been built on a main arterial route, in a prime location that is seen by many passers-by, but in its perpetually empty state.

“It is perceived as a ‘white elephant’ that has a negative impact on the surrounding area.

“I understand that it was built with the benefit of tax breaks, which is money that what would otherwise be public money, but it has been foregone to help stimulate the local and national economy.

“The public have yet to get any benefit from Airbles House. It has remained empty and unproductive, a symbol of the abject failure of a system that is supposed to help to stimulate economic growth. I’m told that the tax breaks mean that the building cannot be sold for seven years without forfeiting them, so it might be another four years or more before the building is put to use.

“Scottish Enterprise have a responsibility to assist businesses wanting to set up in our area – and the public deserve to know what is going on.”

 

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