30m regeneration boost for neglected areas

26 Dec 2007

Katrine Bussey, The Herald

Some of Scotland's most deprived communities will benefit from a £30m package being announced today by the Scottish Government.

The money is being given to urban regeneration companies working in three different geographical areas.

Communities Minister Stewart Maxwell said the funding would help communities that had "been neglected for too long".

The £30m will go to the Riverside Inverclyde urban regeneration company (£19m), the Irvine Bay urban regeneration company (£6m) and Clydebank Rebuilt (£5m), to be spent between 2008 and 2011.

Mr Maxwell said: "This government is absolutely committed to the regeneration of some of our most disadvantaged communities, and the money we are investing in the urban regeneration companies will help make that goal a reality."

He added: "Each of them has exciting plans for their area to bring new housing, infrastructure, jobs and leisure facilities, which will lead to the long-term revitalisation of communities that have been neglected for too long."

The money awarded to the Riverside Inverclyde project will help lead to new housing and offices being built on the waterfront area, along with retail and commercial developments.

Bill Nicol, the chief executive of Riverside Inverclyde, said the money would allow them to tackle a "a significant number of key projects" and would also "ensure that these will soon be visible on the ground".

Patrick Wiggins, the chief executive of the Irvine Bay project, said the government funding would help drive forward their plans to regenerate the five towns in the area.

He said: "This year will see further work on the £70m development at Irvine harbourside, new office pavilions at Annickbank in Irvine, and our future regeneration plans for each of the five towns of Ardrossan, Saltcoats, Stevenson, Kilwinning and Irvine."

The chair of Clydebank Rebuilt board, John McFall MP, welcomed the funding, saying: "The money will allow us to take forward our plans on the riverside and for a transport hub in the town centre over the next two years, 2008 and 2009."

The £30m funding announcement comes less than two weeks after the government announced that £62m was being provided for the regeneration of the Clyde gateway area.

Reproduced with permission from The Herald.  © Newsquest (Herald & Times) Ltd.