Plans to build a new park at Ravenscraig are proving more expensive than initially thought.
Following site inspections, which revealed multiple issues relating to old mine workings, members of North Lanarkshire Council have agreed to invest an additional £1.4 million pounds in the project, raising the total budget to £4 million.
The council’s Enterprise and Housing committee met to discuss the latest report, which states: “Whilst the investigations have not identified significant unforeseen contamination, they have identified a considerable degree of work required to address the substantial amount of existing structures and large voids below ground.
“This work, being greater than anticipated, is to break out some structures and to appropriately fill voids and so required to provide stable and sound ground conditions upon which to develop the park and to create the conditions for a sustainable natural environment.”
With existing commitments to other investment programmes bringing schools, housing and other developments to the area, the council was keen to ensure it did not compromise on the green space project. The committee therefore voted to provide the additional funding.
In order to make up the funding shortfall, the council is seeking external funding and is in talks with Scottish Natural Heritage. It intends to apply for the full £1.4 million under the Green Infrastructure Fund which launched in October.
The council needs to appoint a contractor by March if it is to secure its currently allocated project funds from the Vacant and Derelict Land Fund.
The council’s ideas for a public park include walking routes, a sports pitch, play zone and events area and it has also been holding consultation events to get feedback and ideas from the local community.
However, if it experiences problems with either source of funding, the scale of the project can be downgraded to provide a basic park without the various play and sports facilities currently intended for the site.
However, this would fall short of the intention to create an important community hub, which will attract investment towards Ravenscraig and provide amenities for current and future residents of the area, so council officers have not ruled out funding the project via its capital programme.
A planning application will be submitted soon.