Central Scotland is test bed for first three Urc pathfinders
Three areas of Scotland’s central belt have been named as the first places north of the border to test the urban regeneration company model.
The designation of pathfinder status to areas of Edinburgh, Stirling and Clydebank is the first stage of a Scottish Executive drive to regenerate run-down areas of Scotland through a co-ordinated approach from the public and private sector.
All three will share a £20m cash injection from the executive to help support regeneration over the next two years. Pathfinders will be regularly monitored and, subject to good progress, more money will be allocated following the next Scottish budget.
Some £7m will go to Edinburgh’s Craigmillar Joint Venture Company towards a 15-year plan to create 1,500 jobs, provide 3,600 homes and build new roads. Clydebank Re-built, a regeneration partnership formed by West Dunbartonshire Council and Scottish Enterprise Dunbartonshire, will receive a similar sum towards delivering its vision to regenerate 70ha of land by 2010. Stirling’s Raploch Partnership Project has been awarded £6m for its seven-year regeneration programme.
Communities minister Margaret Curran said:’The Urc model focuses on a specific geographic area and Craigmillar, Clydebank and Raploch produced strong proposals and evidence in support of their applications to become pathfinders. This is not just a handout from central government, but will provide a catalyst for direct investment from the private sector.’
The introduction of the Urc model in Scotland follows its launch in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. They have existed in England since 1999 when Liverpool, east Manchester and Sheffield became pilot Urcs.
Andy Milne, chief executive of the Scottish Urban Regeneration Forum, said:’It will be interesting to see how these Urcs feed into community planning partnerships and their regeneration outcome agreements. There should be some caution against Urcs ending up as institutional clutter on the regeneration landscape.’
Gordon Arthur, a member of Rics Scotland’s commercial property board, said:’If the Urcs are able to come up with an attractive vision, I think you’ll find the private sector will be very keen to get involved.’
Source: New start magazine