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LONDON-One of the UK’s biggest mixed-use developments moved a step forward with the decision by North Lanarkshire Council to grant outline planning consent for the regeneration of the former Ravenscraig steelworks site. A consortium led by Wilson Bowden Developments plans a new urban retail centre along with housing and employment uses.

Jim Fitzsimons of the Ravenscraig Partnership said the plans would create an expected 12,000 new jobs and over £1 billion ($1.6 billion) of new investment to the area. “Ravenscraig’s strategic location in central Scotland has been pivotal to developing plans for a new town centre which will focus on a different form of retailing from any which currently exists in the area. Ravenscraig has been designed to complement the area’s existing town centres, rather than compete with them,” he said.

But public funding–through the EU’s European Regional Development Fund–is essential to create the infrastructure needed to open up the site, and Fitzsimons said: “It is now over 12 years since Ravenscraig Steelworks closed and the Ravenscraig Partnership will be looking to implement this permission as soon as possible. This will enable us to take advantage of the availability of ERDF support which is likely to diminish in the next three to four years. If Scottish Enterprise Lanarkshire is successful with its current ERDF application, the next phase of work will begin on site by the end of the year.

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