Ambitious Stirling development project takes step forward
A major programme of investment for Stirling is moving into its next phase following approval at a Special Council meeting this week.
The ambitious City Development Framework is designed to build on Stirling’s world-class assets and re-position it as a major economic and cultural player, and officers have now been granted approval to formally enter into negotiations with UK and Scottish governments to secure a City Deal investment for Stirling.
Business cases have been put forward for six key projects – a Digital District, Grow-On Space, Harbour development, a new City Park, regeneration of the Mercat Cross and City Centre, and a project to bring the River Forth back into the heart of Stirling life as a key tourism and leisure resource. Stirling Council has already approved how £2 million of funding will be allocated across a range of capital projects to kickstart the City Development Framework vision.
The success of the programme also lies with important underpinning themes such as improved transport, energy and housing. Forth Valley College are also developing a partnership Skills Framework with businesses in the financial, digital and construction sectors that will promote investment in skills, training and community pathways to employment.
The framework and its signature projects have been drawn up using a uniquely collaborative and evidence-based approach, with research, economic analysis and extensive consultation with businesses, stakeholders and communities, overseen by the Stirling City Commission.
By attracting investment and business to the Stirling area, it will encourage sustainable economic growth while reducing poverty and inequalities across all of Stirling’s communities, and raising Stirling’s national and global profile.
Stirling Council leader Johanna Boyd said: “We are now at a key stage in the City Development Framework process and working hard to attract significant investment that will benefit the city and wider area and fully realise these transformational plans.
“Our work so far with City Commissioners, local communities and businesses, and sound economic analysis to promote growth and tackle poverty, means that these proposals are unique, authentic and deliverable. We want to make Stirling a world class destination of choice, with excellent opportunities both in business and education, while ensuring that the health, wellbeing and employment needs of our most disadvantaged communities are met.”
Depute council leader Neil Benny said: “I am delighted that plans for the CDF are progressing to the next stage and it’s been a privilege to be part of the ongoing collaborative and innovative work to support the business cases. Each project within the programme ties together to enhance our existing assets while creating new and exciting ways of promoting economic growth in Stirling. Our plan is an ambitious one and I’m looking forward to the next phase.”
Speaking on behalf of the Stirling City Commission, Martin Valenti, head of strategic partnerships at SEPA, said: “There is great support across Stirling for these plans and real determination to see them happen. It’s crucial that we attract the investment to do so, and also that we articulate how transformative they will be, not just for Stirling, its businesses, communities and people, but for Scotland and the UK.”