Five-year £1bn investment to put people at heart of North Lanarkshire communities

Towns and communities in North Lanarkshire will benefit from £1.243 billion investment over the next five years to transform them into vibrant, thriving, sustainable places, the local authority has revealed.

Five-year £1bn investment to put people at heart of North Lanarkshire communities

How Cumbernauld might look under the council's vision

North Lanarkshire Council said local people are at the heart of its ambitious vision and regeneration plans that will radically change eight town centres and how people live in them, create multi-million-pound mixed-use town and community hubs, and remodel three country parks.

The scale of the place-based investment has continued at pace over the last year and also finances wider community projects including essential infrastructure, the digital economy and connectivity and new-build housing, while maintaining current homes, buildings and facilities.

Councillor Jim Logue, leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said: “Over the next five years, we are investing £1.2bn in creating town and community hubs, in our country parks, and in essential infrastructure and housing to help create a sustainable future for town centres that will benefit people and communities across North Lanarkshire.

“The draft visions for our town centres bring a tangible reality to the outline concepts and these will be developed with our communities, for our communities, so that we are creating vibrant, safe, resilient places where people are supported at all stages of their life and businesses can thrive.”

Central to the council’s plans is the creation of multi-purpose town and community hubs which will become the lifeblood of communities and be a constant in people’s lives.

The town hubs and smaller, complementary community hubs will provide a range of services including education, leisure, public services, commercial opportunities and flexible workspaces, bringing communities closer in one central space.

Over the last six months, nearly 3500 people have responded to consultations, giving their preferred location for the nine town hubs through consultation events and these results and their feasibility will be discussed at the nine forthcoming Community Board meetings, together with prioritising community hub projects.

70% of residents largely supported the draft visions to create sustainable futures for eight town centres. There was clear recognition of the decline of retail and the benefits of more town-centre based residential development. Individual Town Action Plans will be developed through future Community Boards, which will also review final town visions and investment priorities for each town.

Progress has also been made on the ten-year delivery plan to make parks and greenspaces more accessible, active and vibrant, bringing enormous physical and mental health benefits to people.

Five-year £1bn investment to put people at heart of North Lanarkshire communities

A new concept image for Motherwell town centre

Masterplans for the three country parks have advanced over the last year, with improved pathways, parking areas and the addition of sustainable projects including an outdoor education centre at Strathclyde Country Park and solar lighting at Drumpellier to encourage evening walks in the winter months. A £1 million velo park at the Bellshill entrance to Strathclyde Country Park and a heritage and lagoon area with a new outdoor centre will be the focus for future activity, along with developing the visitor hub and play areas as well as the Glencryan gateway development at Palacerigg.

Progress over the last year was outlined yesterday at the council’s Policy and Strategy Committee, including: 

  • Five schools in construction, with seven at the design stage and six at the pre-design stage, building on the 52 built since 1996. This includes work currently underway to design new facilities that will deliver for whole communities such as informal performance spaces at Newmains Community Hub and other proposed hub projects at Abronhill and Wishaw. 
  • £202m of City Deal investment with the completion of Glenboig Link Road in 2018 and progress underway at East Airdrie Link Road, Ravenscraig Infrastructure Access North and South, Motherwell Town Centre Interchange, Orchard Farm roundabout, and Eurocentral Park, Ride, and Share.
  • 833 new homes built through the council’s new supply programme since 2010, with a further 339 on site and a further 1,215 homes in progress.
  • Phase 1 of tower strategy underway to demolish 1,700 flats including 15 tower blocks such as Holehills, Northburn Place and Burnside Court to create space for new-build homes.
  • 19 town centre projects currently being developed including developing over 15 hectares of vacant and derelict land for future industrial use, the demolition of the former Orrs building in Airdrie to build 20 residential units and the conversion of the former council building in Coatbridge’s Kildonan Street into social rented housing, office space and 49 new-build homes
  • £5.5m investment in local nature reserves, country parks, and key greenspace sites over the last five years including the development of the Badger Trail at Palacerigg and an outdoor education centre at Strathclyde Park.

Councillor Logue added: “These projects will be underpinned by the highest quality digital infrastructure and a network of active travel routes, so our people are connected digitally and physically to our towns, communities and greenspaces. The pace of change is vast and we’re creating places that people truly want to live, learn, work, invest and visit.”

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