Levelling Up funding secured for raft of Scottish regeneration projects

Levelling Up funding secured for raft of Scottish regeneration projects

Several Scottish projects have been successful in obtaining Levelling Up funding towards regeneration projects.

Two parts of South Lanarkshire are to be transformed after the council secured multi-million-pound funding to invest in the area.

Land around Shawfield in Rutherglen – described as one of the most polluted inner city sites in the UK after decades of heavy industry – is to be decontaminated and turned into a new national business district, creating jobs as well as a cleaner environment.

And South Lanarkshire Council will create a new walking and cycle route called the Clydesdale Way, as part of a joint project with Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders councils. The new route is regarded as the “missing link” in Britain’s national paths network.

Together, the two South Lanarkshire projects will be funded with more than £20 million from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund.

Council Leader Joe Fagan welcomed the success on both fronts, noting that the Shawfield bid “gives us a unique opportunity to address a historic issue that is a blight on our landscape.”

Councillor Fagan said: “Our project will be truly transformational and will accelerate the clean-up of this area and in doing so develop a national business district with more than 2,700 square metres of business space. In turn this will open up further growth with an estimated 5,800 employment opportunities in an area which has a deprived community at its core.

“The redeveloped land will enhance South Lanarkshire’s growing reputation as one of Scotland’s economic powerhouses and demonstrate clearly the area’s burgeoning confidence as a great place to live and do business.”

Jacob Young MP, Minister for Levelling-Up, confirmed £14,637,600 was being awarded for the project, which will be the second phase of regeneration work in the area, and will be undertaken with Clyde Gateway, the council’s urban regeneration partner in that area.

The Clydesdale Way is one part of the Three Rivers Active Tourism Project, which has received a total of £22,809,416 funding across the three councils involved. The South Lanarkshire plan will create a 239 km network of footpaths and cycleways connecting communities, including New Lanark, Wanlockhead, Biggar and Douglas.

It will help deliver the final part in a continuous network of trails that will connect Edale in Derbyshire to Cape Wrath in Sutherland via the Pennine Way, St Cuthbert’s Way, Southern Upland Way, Clyde Walkway, Kelvin Way, West Highland Way and North Highland Way.

Scottish Borders Council said the funding will progress a project with partners and the community of Peebles to refurbish the Category A listed Chambers Institution in Peebles town centre.

This builds upon work undertaken by the Scottish Historic Building Trust which identified that the community and relevant local organisations had a shared desire for the historic building to be maintained and enhanced as a visitor attraction and cultural heart of the community.

Councillor Euan Jardine, leader of Scottish Borders Council, said: “I am delighted that our joint bid across the three authorities has been successful and that as part of that we’ll be able to progress with a transformational project in the centre of Peebles which will revitalise a much-loved local asset for the benefit of the community and our visitors.

“The collaboration and co-operation with our Dumfries and Galloway and South Lanarkshire colleagues has been very positive and provides the basis for continued working between the partners to develop the tourism offering and bring in additional tourists right across the area.”

For Dumfries and Galloway Council, who are the overall lead on this bid, this means support for a project lead by the Annan Harbour Trust. This project focuses on Annan Harbour, including the refurbishment of a B-listed former warehouse (Collett’s Building) into a hub of activities including a workshop for heritage boat craft skills; a flexible café; meeting/community and event space and harbourside landscape improvements, including the construction of a new footbridge, to create a new focal point for water sports and activities for the local community and tourists.

Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Councillor Gail Macgregor, added: “This is fantastic news, and along with Dumfries and Galloway Council’s other successful Transport bid, this will be a game-changer for Annan Harbour and add to the regeneration of the town as a whole.

“With this funding, and thanks to the hard work of the Annan Harbour Trust, we will be able to bring the area’s cultural and natural heritage back to life, entice further tourism and rehabilitate vacant and derelict land, bringing with it a host of additional opportunities for the local economy and community. Developing this site will result in transformational physical, social and economic regeneration in a deprived area of Dumfries and Galloway.

“My thanks go out to our colleagues at Scottish Borders and South Lanarkshire Councils for their support on this, it proves that we can achieve great things if we work together.”

Dumfries and Galloway Council was also successful in its ‘Transport’ bid of up to £13,752,000.

The strategic focus for the bid was on ‘sustainable connectivity’ across the region, combining different elements to provide a ‘metro-style’ interconnected access offer in our rural region. The metro concept is an important part of bringing this scheme together as one offer, not just for the purposes of the bid, but to aid future understanding by residents, businesses and visitors, whether that be between pedestrians, cyclists, rail, bus or car.

The plan is to address:

  • Access to ‘green’ energy for transport and therefore future transportation for all;
  • Improve quality of the region’s bus fleet; and
  • Create electric vehicle transport hubs that work effectively to help regenerate centres providing better amenity for both residents and tourists.

Elsewhere, Moray Council has been successful in its £18,291,000 bid for the Elgin City Centre Masterplan.

The projects submitted in the bid include the former Sawmill by Linkwood Road, which has been vacant for a number of years. Flooding issues and access constraints will be addressed before the site is opens for commercial development.

The Central Elgin project will support the development of the evening economy in Elgin. A number of properties in South Street, including the derelict former Jailhouse nightclub, Newmarket bar, and the old Victoria Market, will bring forward commercial, retail, and residential development.

A creative arts centre will provide new jobs and deliver long-term community benefit to support the creative industries sector and community art projects across Moray.

Improved traffic control measures and streetscape works will support active travel, address accessibility issues, provide new disabled parking and help create an outdoor café culture to complete the Central Elgin project.

Finally, supporting the Moray Growth Deal Cultural Quarter, is the re-imagining of Cooper Park. Bringing the pond back into active use with accessible walkways, planting for biodiversity, new seating, and boat/paddleboard hire from a jetty.

The existing toilet block will be extended and repurposed into a café and ticket office with changing places toilet to improve facilities for park users.

Council leader Cllr Kathleen Robertson said: “Residents and businesses will be delighted to see this UK Government funding, which is so central to our efforts to support jobs and investment in the city, coming down the line.

“I am delighted that the UK Government has shown its support to Moray and has recognised our strong case for funding for the Elgin City Centre Masterplan projects, which were part of our round 2 levelling up bid.

“Investment of this scale will level up Elgin and the whole of Moray, bringing much-loved Moray features and buildings back to life, creating jobs, and introducing a lively night-time economy. This is another opportunity for the progress of several projects which will give momentum to the regeneration of the capital of Moray.”

South Ayrshire Council said £20m will be spent in Ayr Town Centre to help transform the town.

It’s yet to be decided how this money will be used, but the likelihood is that some of the funding will help revitalise the southern entrance to the town at Burns Statue Square. The Ayr Town Centre Strategy will go before Councillors later this month.

The council had previously allocated this money to help improve infrastructure at the airport, however the airport is set to receive money from the Levelling Up Fund round 3, which frees up the council funding to be used on the town centre project.

Councillor Martin Dowey, leader of South Ayrshire Council, said: “This is great news for Ayr Town Centre. £20m gives us plenty of options to make improvements that will help bring people into the town centre. We’re set to launch a number of high-profile projects, so this funding is extremely timely.”

The full list of successful Scottish projects includes:

  • Dumfries and Galloway - Dumfries and Galloway Transport Bid (£13,752,000)
  • Dumfries and Galloway (with Scottish Borders and South Lanarkshire) - Three Rivers Active Tourism Project (£22,809,416)
  • Glasgow City - Drumchapel Town Centre Regeneration (£14,979,646)
  • Moray - Elgin City Centre Masterplan: Levelling Up Moray (£18,291,000)
  • North Ayrshire (with South Ayrshire) - Levelling Up For Ayrshire: Commercial and Low Carbon Infrastructure (£37,456,821)
  • South Lanarkshire - National Business District: Shawfield - Remediation and Development (£14,637,600)
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