West Lothian outlines £150m City Deal infrastructure spend
Up to £150 million is to be invested in West Lothian thanks to the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.
Officially agreed by the UK and Scottish governments last week, the City Deal is expected to deliver around £1.1 billion of investment for the region.
The Scottish Government is prepared to guarantee on a risk sharing basis alongside West Lothian Council to support up to £150m of infrastructure investment that will unlock up to 5,000 new homes in Winchburgh.
The deal will help to create up to 800 new jobs and allow the council to fund infrastructure projects such as new roads - including a new motorway junction from the M9 - a new park and ride facility and business park as well as two new schools to accommodate rising school numbers.
Winchburgh is one of three Core Development Areas in West Lothian, with the others at Calderwood and Armadale. In total, there is planning permission in principle for 3,450 homes at Winchburgh.
Phase one plans include 550 residential units plus a small local supermarket and six additional commercial units and a town square. Around 400 residential units have been completed and occupied and the infrastructure for the commercial area is nearing completion. Other highlights include a new town centre with retail and food facilities, new health and social care facilities, new schools and a railway station.
To build future phases, developers need to put in place education facilities as well as build or contribute funding towards a new school to accommodate anymore homes.
Executive councillor for development and transport, Cathy Muldoon, said: “This investment has the potential to unlock economic opportunities in West Lothian and help accelerate growth by bringing more homes and businesses into the area, which will create jobs.
“West Lothian is one of the country’s fastest growing areas and more and more people are choosing to call West Lothian their home. Inward investment and regeneration of the area is very positive news which will help West Lothian to grow and prosper.”
Kirsteen Sullivan, West Lothian Council’s depute council leader, added: “The funding will help to unlock economic development land so that the next housing phases can progress. This funding is essentially there to kick start future development in the area.
“We warmly welcome this announcement, in principle, which could bring a significant amount of benefits to West Lothian in the years ahead.”
The broad terms of the deal were announced last Thursday and further scrutiny of and discussions around the exact details of the funding package will now progress before any future plans are agreed by the council.
Councillor Sullivan added: “West Lothian Council has been working on the City Deal for some time. We will now take time to look over the fine print before moving forward. However we are, in principle, supportive of this announcement which could herald an exciting time for the local area.”