Money for new roads and transport infrastructure has been approved by Glasgow City Region leaders as part of the redevelopment of the former Ravenscraig steelworks site.
The eight councils involved have agreed to allocate an additional £66 million for the Ravenscraig Infrastructure Access (RIA) project.
City Deal cash, along with an additional £29.7 million from North Lanarkshire Council, will be used to upgrade roads from the M74 at Motherwell through Ravenscraig to the M8 at Eurocentral and onward past Airdrie on a new link road to the A73 south of Cumbernauld.
The transport infrastructure project, part of the wider Pan-Lanarkshire Orbital Corridor, is vital to the overall development of the Ravenscraig site, according to councillors.
They estimate the revised proposals for redeveloping Ravenscraig could create more than 6,500 jobs and boost the economy by £360 million a year.
At 455 hectares, Ravenscraig is one of Europe’s largest brownfield regeneration sites and accounts for 13% of the Glasgow City Region’s vacant and derelict land.
Ravencraig Ltd’s new masterplan for the area will be considered by the council in the coming weeks and includes proposals for 3,000 houses, five primary schools, a town park and more than 110,000sq m of office, industrial and retail space.
Paul Kelly, depute leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said: “The regeneration of Ravencraig is of major strategic and economic importance to North Lanarkshire and the wider area.
“The £201 million Pan-Lanarkshire Orbital project represents the biggest single roads and infrastructure investment in North Lanarkshire’s history, and our focus must be on those projects that will attract investment to the area and be of the greatest economic benefit to our communities.
“Channelling our resources into creating a first-class infrastructure at Ravenscraig will bolster future investment from the private sector to create homes, businesses and job opportunities – potentially creating 6,500 jobs and generating £360 million in Gross Value Added (GVA) for the local economy.
“It’s vital that we focus on those projects that offer the best return on investment for our communities, our economy and for the future of North Lanarkshire.”
Speaking on BBC Good Morning Scotland, Mr Kelly added: “There’s been huge delays over the years but I really feel today is a historic day – it’s the biggest investment we’ll ever see in our infrastructure and it will lead to the transformation of the Ravenscraig site.
“Over the last two years we have been driving this as best we can to try to transform it and to deliver on what the people of Motherwell and the wider area want on the site.”
Scottish Secretary David Mundell, said: “This is very welcome news and it is great to see good progress being made to the Glasgow City Region Deal.
“The UK Government has committed more than £500 million to the deal with an ambitious goal of creating jobs and opportunities and stimulating long-lasting growth for local communities.
“This project has the potential to transform Ravenscraig and will help to attract significant private sector investment to bring new homes and businesses to the site.
“The UK Government is funding vital projects right across Scotland and to date have committed more than £1.35 billion to City Region and Growth Deals.”
Scottish Government Infrastructure Secretary Michael Matheson said: “The Scottish Government has committed to invest £500 million in the Glasgow City Region Deal in pursuit of long-term, sustainable economic growth.
“I am pleased to see North Lanarkshire Council and the wider Glasgow City Region continue to drive this deal forward and work together in the best interests of the regional economy.”