Scottish Government award £4m to create new ‘hub’ for Cumbernauld town centre

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 23:54 on 22 November 2013.
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Scottish Government will fund half the project. Picture: Scott Campbell/Cumbernauld Media.

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CUMBERNAULD Town Centre could soon have a new ‘Community Enterprise Centre’ after the Scottish Government confirmed, earlier this evening, that they were the pay-up £8million towards the council-led project.

North Lanarkshire Council confirmed the news on Wednesday (20th November) that they had applied to the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF), in a proposal which would see Seafar’s aging Muirfield Community Education Centre refurbished into a new ‘Community Enterprise Centre’.

Scotland’s Housing Minister Margaret Burgess and Cllr Stephen Hagan, COSLA Spokesperson for Development, Economy and Sustainability jointly confirmed the news earlier today (November 22) that twenty-two projects across Scotland would benefit from the allocation of the £25 million RCGF.

This evening’s announcement means that North Lanarkshire Council will earn £4million between next year and 2016, with £2million to be granted to North Lanarkshire Council, next year, and £2million in 2015.

Other projects set to benefit from the fund, across Scotland, include: a number of listed buildings which will be brought back into sustainable use within Scottish Towns; the West Harris Trust on the Isle of Harris which will receive funding to create a community enterprise centre with visitor, community and business facilities; and the Glasgow Women’s Library which will receive funding for the refurbishment and relocation of the Library.

Commenting, Ms Burgess said: “Investment in such transformational regeneration projects is absolutely key for stimulating economic growth throughout Scotland.

“The development of the fund, which will benefit 22 local projects, is a great example of how Scotland’s public bodies can work in partnership to deliver initiatives that help to create more jobs for Scottish people, while bringing our communities closer together and injecting new life into deprived and run down areas.

“Community involvement is integral to the success of the design and delivery of local economic and social regeneration initiatives.

“This Government is absolutely clear about the contribution that regeneration makes to growing our economy and improving the life chances of Scotland’s people.

“I am pleased that COSLA have agreed to work with us on this initiative and that local authorities will play a fundamental role in delivery while ensuring local people are at the heart of the projects that will help transform the spaces around them.”

Councillor Stephen Hagan, COSLA Spokesperson for Development, Economy and Sustainability added: “The Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF) will help improve physical, economic, social outcomes across our communities and will result in long term strategic and transformational change.

“Communities want resources focused on delivering large scale regeneration projects which can also deliver wider impacts of job creation, clearing up land as well as regenerating buildings and infrastructure. The projects awarded funding from the RCGF will help do this and lever in significant additional funding from a number of other sources.

“Regeneration is a key aspect of the work of local authorities, and this fund will go some way to helping communities realise their aspirations for their local area.

“This fund is another example of strong local democratic processes delivering viable, innovative and sustainable regeneration outcomes for communities across Scotland.”

The Regeneration Capital Grant Fund officially opened in April 2013, with applications received from councils, urban regeneration companies (URC’s) and regeneration special purpose vehicles, although recommendations on which projects received funding were made to Scottish Ministers and COSLA by the RCGF Investment Panel.

As part of their application, North Lanarkshire Council requested £4million, with the authority confirming, earlier this week, that they were seeking £4million from the Scottish Government towards the £8million ‘Hub’ project.

Talking to the Cumbernauld News, earlier this week, a spokeswoman for the council said: “Discussions are also continuing with other agencies and funders, including Campsies Cumbernauld, to generate the other £4 million required for the project.”

Plans for the project would see the aging Muirfield Community Education Centre, on Brown Road, replaced with a brand-new ‘Cumbernauld Community Enterprise Centre’, a facility where community groups and small businesses would be able to locate and operate out from.

A consultation on the proposals is suggested to get underway at some point next year, although North Lanarkshire Council have said that they remain in discussions with community groups, tenants and other relevant organisations about the plans.
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