Hargreaves Property Ventures, a development partnership between Hargreaves Services and Fintry Estates, has been appointed by Falkirk Council as preferred developer for the Falkirk Gateway project in the UK.
Under the regeneration and development of Falkirk, the area to the east of the town, adjacent to the new Forth Valley College and Falkirk Stadium, will be transformed with new retail, office and leisure opportunities.
Nine initial expressions of interest were received with a final two developers submitting more detailed plans for a final selection by an assessment panel.
Work on a ‘heads of terms’ agreement and a more detailed retail impact study will also be taken up.
In the initial plans, the developers have highlighted large-scale retail units; office space; leisure space; a hotel site; a drive through; and food and drink units, including a concept pub/restaurant.
Falkirk Council leader Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn said: “Our plans to completely redevelop this area are making great progress and with the appointment of the developer, we are a significant step closer to creating new opportunities for the local economy and jobs.
“The creation of an ‘urban quarter’ at the Westfield/Middlefield site will transform the vacant area (lying between Falkirk and Grangemouth) and bring the 30 acre site into a location that will help promote economic growth.
“The capital receipts from the site will be ring fenced to aid the revitalisation of town centres.”
The council will use the Tax Incremental Finance scheme (TIF) to fund road infrastructure and enabling works around the Gateway.
The £67m scheme is expected to bring £413m in private investment into the area and create 6,000 jobs and hundreds of apprenticeships.
Under the TIF mechanism, the council borrows to supply and improve infrastructure to promote development in specific locations, including the Gateway.
Non-domestic rates income generated from the developments paid directly to the council will be used to repay the infrastructure funding.
The TIF expects the council to invest £67m, levering £176m in infrastructure improvements, including improved links to the M9 motorway and Grangemouth Flood Prevention Scheme.
This is expected to draw investment of more than £400m and the completion of 400,000m² of business space.
Falkirk Council has also developed an Investment Zone Business Case akin to growth deals established across several regions in the UK, which will be complementary to the TIF programme.
The bid seeks £207m funding to deliver works aimed at promoting economic opportunities in the Falkirk-Grangemouth area.
Image: Artist’s impression of the Falkirk Gateway. Photo: Courtesy of Falkirk Council / GOV.UK.