The “SevenFourEight Ravenscraig” investment aims to attract “high-profile” businesses to the North Lanarkshire development at what is Scotland’s largest regeneration site.
The scheme’s backers said “significant commercial enquiries” had already been received. They hope that the new employment land will enhance economic opportunities in North Lanarkshire and provide “further attractive options” to businesses looking to locate in the region.
Work is underway 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.
VHE Construction is carrying out the civil engineering aspect of the project with GTC delivering utilities.
A ceremony was staged to mark the continuation of construction works attended by Kate Forbes MSP, secretary for finance and the economy; councillor Paul Kelly, depute leader, North Lanarkshire Council; Des Murray, chief executive of North Lanarkshire Council; and senior representatives of the Ravenscraig joint venture board which includes Wilson Bowden, Scottish Enterprise and Tata Steel.
Ravenscraig has undergone major investment in the last decade, including the creation of 1,000 homes, a regional sports facility, a state-of-the-art college campus and a pub restaurant and hotel.
The area’s masterplan has a focus on creating a place with high quality housing, transport links, education and employment opportunities and space to “exercise, play and safely enjoy the outdoors”.
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.
“Ultimately, it’s about building an environment where businesses are at the beating heart of communities helping create opportunities for shared economic prosperity. Scottish Enterprise looks forward to working with partners and the local community to drive forward the regeneration and realise Ravenscraig’s full potential.”
Kelly said: “The progress being made at SevenFourEight Ravenscraig shows continued confidence in investing in North Lanarkshire, and the wealth of opportunities available at Ravenscraig.
“People and businesses in the region have already been benefitting from the value of the significant investments made at Ravenscraig to date.”
Last October, funding approval was granted for the Ravenscraig Access Infrastructure project, which will see the area 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.
Forbes said: “I am very pleased to see such impressive progress on this transformative project. The past two years have seen considerable challenges and this development shows the skill and resilience of all those involved.
“The Ravenscraig site is one of great importance and 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.”