Ravenscraig Ltd, the joint venture company overseeing the development of the former Lanarkshire steelworks site, has announced its intention to update the Ravenscraig masterplan to ensure it is fully in line with current market conditions, and in shape to consolidate the success achieved so far.
Since development work began in 2006, more than £200m has been invested in Ravenscraig, resulting in the creation of a new state-of-the-art campus for New College Lanarkshire, a new regional sports facility, 330 new homes sold and a £2.9m pub and restaurant built by brewers Marston’s.
In addition, Ravenscraig Ltd has completed large scale remediation of a heavy industrial site to provide useful, safe and attractive development land.
Now the joint venture company – a partnership between Wilson Bowden Ltd, Tata Steel and Scottish Enterprise – is to bring forward revised plans which will take on board current developer appetite, market conditions and changing lifestyle patterns.
Its key aim is to ensure that Ravenscraig’s regeneration plans remain attractive and sustainable for new private sector investment. While the plans have still to be finalised, it’s expected that they will involve further high quality housing and an element of retail.
Ravenscraig Ltd is now working closely with North Lanarkshire Council to finalise revised plans for the site.
As part of the evolution of the masterplan, Ravenscraig Ltd decided at its recent Board meeting that the town centre element of the original plan should be put on hold.
As part of the revision of the masterplan, all partners will continue to work together to better understand the potential opportunities where Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) might be used to help unlock future economic growth.
Wilson Bowden’s role in the partnership is to bring forward proposals which allow the other partners to decide how to progress. Construction operations director Nick Davies said:
“We believe this is the right time to bring forward a revised plan which can continue the regeneration of Ravenscraig and bring forward further developments quickly and in line with market demand.
“The original masterplan was created 15 years ago when the world was a very different place. Legal action held up progress for five years before the House of Lords gave final approval and this was, of course, followed by the global recession.
“Since then, the retail market has been transformed due to the growth of online shopping and changing consumer demands. It’s these kind of changes that the revised masterplan will seek to take into account.
He added: “What has been delivered in the initial phase of development is a substantial achievement from a standing start. We will be discussing the revised plan and development framework with key partners such as North Lanarkshire Council to ensure the regeneration of Ravenscraig continues to progress.”
Councillor David Fagan, convener of regeneration and infrastructure for North Lanarkshire Council said: “It’s important that the plans for Ravenscraig take into account changes in the way people engage with the retail market. If this wasn’t done then future development would be at risk of failure and clearly that is not something the council would wish to see.
“We’re determined to work with all the partners concerned to expand on the good work that has already been carried out and we look forward to seeing detailed plans for the site.”