Ravenscraig regeneration is a national priority

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THE Scottish Government is set to hand Ravenscraig a massive boost by making the regeneration of the former steelworks site a national priority.

The £1.1 billion Ravenscraig Masterplan stalled when it lost it’s regional priority after the SNP came into power, but now the draft Scotland’s Third National Planning Framework (NPF3) suggests it is of national importance.

This follows the Scottish Government giving North Lanarkshire Council permission to progress plans for £71 million of Tax Incremental Funding (TIF) to kickstart the project.

The framework report says: “The development proposals at Ravenscraig could bring back into beneficial use a large and longstanding area of vacant and derelict land.

“Scottish Ministers have given provisional approval to North Lanarkshire Council to take forward a Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) project for Ravenscraig Phase 2.

“Its scale, its links with the aspirations for the Central Scotland Green Network and the number of benefits it can provide in the heart of the Central Belt are such that our preferred strategy includes the development of Ravenscraig as a national development.”

NPF3 will now undergo a 12-week consultation exercise and Motherwell and Wishaw MSP John Pentland, who has been pushing for Ravenscraig to become a national priority, is delighted with the contents of the report.

He said: “I’m very pleased to see that the promotion of Ravenscraig that I have undertaken with the Planning Minister Derek McKay and in Parliament debates has paid dividends.

“This is enormously significant for Motherwell and Wishaw, showing the Government’s solid backing for the future of Ravenscraig, which should be a catalyst for investment in the area.

“I have personally put Ravenscraig forward at every opportunity for inclusion in the National Planning Framework as a national priority, so its inclusion in the draft is clearly a cause of some satisfaction.

“What we need to do now is to ensure that this progress is consolidated and followed up, to further strengthen the case for more resources being directed to Ravenscraig at the earliest opportunity.

“The document is now going out to consultation, so I urge everyone who supports the redevelopment of Ravenscraig to make their views known.”