£200m development plans to transform Stirling

Stirling bridgeAn ambitious £200 million plan to reposition Stirling as an “economic and cultural powerhouse” at the heart of Scotland is being developed by Stirling Council.

The plan – part of the council’s City Development Framework – is being drawn up in association with public and private sector stakeholders and the Stirling City Commission, which was set up at the start of the year.

The council’s vision is to make Scotland’s ancient capital a world-class centre of innovation and excellence for key sectors, a thriving cultural hub, and a vibrant and cosmopolitan place to live and work.

Johanna Boyd, council leader and chair of the Stirling City Commission, said the plan was key to the city’s future.

“Stirling is an incredible place with much to offer, but to flourish in an increasingly competitive global economic environment, we need to be bold and committed,” she said. “This ambitious plan is designed to re-position Stirling as an economic and cultural powerhouse; building on our unique advantages, advancing investment opportunities and encouraging diversification and growth for the benefit of all our citizens and communities.”

The plan has identified six signature concepts as a starting point, and these are being refined and developed in partnership with the public, private and third sectors and the Commission, with the aim of boosting economic growth and creating high-quality jobs.

They include:

  • A digital hub which would be a seedbed of product development and cutting edge technology, and would position Stirling as a leader in digital technologies.
  • A knowledge hub providing state-of-the-art business incubation space, and working closely with higher and further education.
  • A revitalised cultural quarter to build on an already vibrant culture scene and be a hub for the arts and creative industries.
  • An innovative market space to showcase Stirling’s renowned food and drink sector and create a new all-weather performance area.

  • A new civic and creative centre providing conference space and acting as a platform for creative industry projects.
  • A new city parkland in the shadow of Stirling Castle that would act as a new gateway to the city and provide space for events, public art, leisure and recreation.
  • Council chief executive Stewart Carruth, said the plan was a bold statement of ambition and was vital if Stirling is to compete with Scotland’s other six cities.

    “Like cities around the world, Stirling is thinking about its future and how we can attract people and business to the area and create a vibrant and cosmopolitan city for everyone to enjoy,” he said. “We are very lucky in Stirling. We may be a small city but we have a great location, we are really well connected, and we have a wonderful tradition of heritage. Our challenge is to bring all of that together, contemporise it and modernise it, and the City Development Framework is an important step to making that happen.”

    Neil Benny, deputy council leader and chair of the finance and economy committee, said: “This is a great way to ensure that Stirling can compete in the modern world and really make it a place that people want to live in, set up businesses in and come to visit. With this plan I am optimistic for Stirling’s future.”

    Councillors will be asked later this week to give the go-ahead for the plan to be developed further before a final version with business and funding proposals comes before the full council in October, and investment is sought from public and private sector sources.

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