Council turns to TIF for £73m Ravenscraig motorway link

Aaron Morby 12 years ago
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North Lanarkshire Council has submitted a £73m plan to use Tax Increment Funding to build a vital road link to kick-start regeneration of the Ravenscraig steelwork site.

The council hopes to get clearance from the Scottish Government to borrow money against future income from business rates to build a dual carriageway linking the the site to the M8 and M74.

Jim Fitzsimons, chief executive at Capella Group, which is managing the Ravenscraig project, said: “A dual carriageway into the site is essential. Unless we get this infrastructure delivered the next phase won’t happen.

It looks as if tax increment financing is the best way of doing that.”

Ravenscraig ranks as the largest of three Scottish schemes aiming to use the model of financing pioneered in the US.

Edinburgh council is the most advanced and has won provisional approval to use TIF for the redevelopment of Leith Harbour, while Glasgow Council hopes to use the financing model for its Buchanan Galleries project.

North Lanarkshire council leader Jim McCabe added: “We have had positive discussions with the Scottish Government Finance Minister, John Swinney, and we are confident of a successful outcome.”

The first phase of development at Ravenscraig is well under way with the construction of the new £70m Motherwell College campus. The site is also now home to the £31m Ravenscraig Regional Sport Facility and new housing.

The redevelopment will effectively create a small, new town over the next 30 years.

But the £500m phase 2 has stalled which needs upfront infrastructure investment stalled in the economic downturn.

Future phases include plans for a 58,000sq metre shopping centre, more than 185,800sq metres of business development and 3,500 homes.

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