The strategic business case for a £190 million roads programme in North Lanarkshire has been approved by the Glasgow City Region City Deal cabinet.
Representing the biggest single roads and infrastructure investment in the region’s history, the Pan-Lanarkshire Orbital project will effectively join the M74 in the south with the M80 in the north, in a move expected to increase private sector investment in Ravenscraig and across North Lanarkshire.
The business case projects that the programme has the ability to create 6,700 jobs and boost the economy by £360m.
It will provide new and upgraded roads from the M74 at Motherwell, through the strategic investment site at Ravenscraig to the M8 at Eurocentral, and onward past Airdrie on a new link road to the A73 south of Cumbernauld.
The project will also see an improved public transport hub at Motherwell train station incorporating access improvements, park and ride expansion, active travel links and new public realm works.
North Lanarkshire Council leader, Councillor Jim Logue, said: “This is a groundbreaking investment which will provide an enormous boost to the North Lanarkshire economy.
“North Lanarkshire is open for business. As part of our strategy, it’s essential that we are able to attract significant investment to Ravenscraig, and improve access to jobs for people across the area. Only by providing excellent roads infrastructure can we attract businesses to invest, and this development ensures great access and a link between the M74 in the south and the M80 in the north.”
Around £94m of the investment will come from the Glasgow City Region City Deal, with the balance to be funded through council capital funding and developer contributions.
Councillor Logue added: “The strategic case approved by the Glasgow City Region cabinet demonstrates the need for improved connectivity between the population and existing and planned employment. The project breaks down barriers to economic growth and unlocks development opportunities throughout North Lanarkshire.”
The £1.13 billion Glasgow City Region City Deal is an agreement between the UK government, Scottish Government and eight local authorities across the Glasgow City Region to deliver improved infrastructure, create new jobs, tackle unemployment and drive innovation and growth.
Detailed planning work will now start, with construction expected to begin in 2019.