Transformational City Deal plans move ahead in Clackmannanshire

Les Sharp
Clackmannanshire Council leader Les Sharp

Plans to bring forward housing development sites in Clackmannanshire are among a list of potential projects for the proposed Stirling & Clackmannanshire City Deal, the council has revealed.

As negotiations for the City Deal investment continue, Clackmannanshire Council has unveiled a range of potential projects which were generated following a series of stakeholder workshops facilitated by the Scottish Futures Trust.

The projects have been refined under three thematic headings.

Investor Confidence’ will increase the level of private sector investment in the area, bringing forward new business premises, housing development sites, transport infrastructure and new schools; regenerating Alloa Town Centre and allowing access to enhanced digital infrastructure and digital skills to create a Smart County.

Inclusive Growth’ will “invest in our people at all stages of life to ensure that we have a well skilled, healthy and resilient population and an innovative, engaged and productive workforce”. Developments include an Achievement Campus in Sauchie; innovative learning systems that build on the attainment challenge; and family support to address poverty and exclusion from learning, employment and training opportunities.

Sustainable Place’ supports the broader aims of the City Region Deal through investment in the green sector: green jobs, green infrastructure and green energy, although the benefits apply across the economic and social fields as well as the environmental field. Included are developments at Alloa Harbour and the riverside to provide a focus for regenerating the Alloa South and East area. Plus a community energy network across the programme area with a focus on geothermal and other sustainable energy sources.

A focus on the geographical areas of Alloa, Sauchie and Forestmill has been identified on the basis of major development projects already approved in the Local Development Plan which require significant public sector support to release land and private investment. The ‘people’ aspects of the projects such as employability, health & well-being and attainment will also be available to residents who need them across the whole county. In addition the positive economic impacts on these geographies will have wider impacts across the county and the region, for example increased job opportunities.

Cabinet secretary for economy, jobs and fair work, Keith Brown MSP, met with senior officials from Stirling Council and Clackmannanshire Council regarding the City Deal bid on Friday.

Mr Brown said: “The Scottish Government is committed to a city region deal for Stirling and Clackmannanshire, which is an opportunity to unlock investment, boost inclusive economic growth and invest in infrastructure for the entire region. It was a useful opportunity to meet the council leaders to hear about their plans as negotiations continue. We are currently working through the detail of the proposals with the regional partners to make sure that we get the best outcomes for businesses and communities and I look forward to agreeing a deal in due course.”

Clackmannanshire Council leader Les Sharp said: “The City Region Deal bid is a real opportunity to make a significant boost to the local economy and for all our residents to benefit from sustainable, high quality employment that our projects will provide. It’s potentially a long-term investment for the area and I am delighted that the Cabinet Secretary took time out of his busy diary to hear more about our plans first hand.”

Stirling Council leader Scott Farmer added: “It was great to welcome the Cabinet Secretary to Stirling today - we appreciate him taking the time to hear about our plans for Stirling and Clackmannanshire first hand. Our City Region Deal will make sure Stirling becomes a world class destination and a place of opportunity for all our residents. Negotiations with the Scottish and UK Governments continue to progress well as we work towards a Heads of Terms Agreement.”

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