REGENERATION of the former Ravenscraig steel works in North Lanarkshire has taken a further step forward with work under way on a £4.5 million development to attract new business.
The new project, called “SevenFourEight Ravenscraig”, aims to attract “high-profile businesses” to Scotland’s largest regeneration site. According to the joint venture behind Ravenscraig – Scottish Enterprise, Wilson Bowden Developments and Tata Steel – the project has already received “significant commercial enquiries” as it strives to “enhance economic opportunities in North Lanarkshire and provide further attractive options to businesses looking to locate in the region”.
Work is under way to build an access road, made possible in part by funding from the Scottish Government and North Lanarkshire Council. It is anticipated that it will deliver tangible economic benefit to the region.
Ravenscraig has undergone major investment in the last decade including the creation of 1,000 homes, a regional sports facility, a new college campus, plus a pub/restaurant and hotel.
Last October, funding approval was granted for the Ravenscraig Access Infrastructure project, which will see Ravenscraig connect north to the M8 and south to Motherwell and the M74.
Plans were also submitted by Russell Group to create “hundreds of jobs” at a £200m railhead logistics hub which would serve as the haulage company’s UK headquarters and house a training academy which would serve as a “test bed for innovation in the transport industry”.
Nick Davies, director of Ravenscraig Ltd, speaking after a ceremony attended by Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy Kate Forbes to mark the continuation of construction works at the site, said: “We expect to welcome a host of organisations to this new site over the coming years, with Ravenscraig becoming an increasingly attractive option to forward-looking businesses.”
Ravenscraig, he noted, “will contribute towards Scotland’s economic recovery. “We’re grateful to the support received from the Scottish Government and North Lanarkshire Council, who both recognise the potential of Ravenscraig as a place to work, live and play,” Mr Davies added.
Ms Forbes described the project as “transformative” and the Ravenscraig site “one of great importance, adding: “The past two years have seen considerable challenges and this development shows the skill and resilience of all those involved. It is fantastic to see it being transformed from the derelict land that it had become following the closure of the steelworks to this thriving new community.”
At Scottish Enterprise, interim chief executive Linda Hanna said: “Access to and availability of employment land is fundamental to Scotland’s economic recovery and this access road is an important milestone in helping pave the way to future investment in North Lanarkshire.”