Falkirk East SNP MSP Angus MacDonald and SNP Group Leader Councillor David Alexander have welcomed the announcement from the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment Alex Neil MSP that he has approved the Falkirk TIF bid, which has the potential to attract £528 million of construction investment to the area, and also 6,000 jobs to Falkirk district.
Since his election in May, Angus MacDonald MSP has lobbied Finance Minister John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment Alex Neil and Chief Executive of the Scottish Future’s Trust Barry White, and has raised the matter on a number of occasions in the Scottish Parliament chamber and at his Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee.
The approval of the TIF (Tax Incremental Financing) scheme for Falkirk district will allow Falkirk Council to take action to fund a proportion of the £100 million required for Grangemouth’s flood defences.
It will also assist in the funding of other major infrastructure projects in and around Grangemouth and Falkirk including:
- Improvements to the Avon Gorge A801 road;
- Improvements at Westfield roundabout/A904;
- Developments around the M9 corridor including major improvements to junction 6 at Glensburgh, Grangemouth
Hailing the announcement as ‘tremendous news’, Angus MacDonald MSP said:
“This is tremendous news for Falkirk district. All the lobbying at every opportunity to the relevant decision makers has paid off. It was clear that the Falkirk TIF bid made financial sense and that has clearly been recognised by Finance Secretary John Swinney and Infrastructure and Capital Investment Secretary Alex Neil. It is clear that the SNP Government is delivering for Falkirk district.
This is a good news story for all the residents in Falkirk district. Work will hopefully be able to start soon on the long overdue Avon Gorge A801 crossing, and funding will now be in place for the initial stages of Grangemouth’s flood defences, plus upgrading of the motorway junction 6 at Glensburgh.
Since my election in May I have raised the proposal with the Finance Secretary John Swinney, Infrastructure and Capital Investment Secretary Alex Neil, the Chief Executive of the Scottish Futures Trust Barry White and have promoted the bid both in the Parliament chamber and at the Economy, Energy & Tourism Committee in the Scottish Parliament.
This TIF will help to bring massive capital investment to the area and restore economic growth at a time when we need a major boost to the local economy and significant job creation.
The Scottish Government clearly recognises the importance of protecting the £3 billion generated to the national economy through Grangemouth and the wider Falkirk district.
The TIF will work by allowing Falkirk Council to borrow the capital required for these projects on the basis that the resulting investment and the new business rates generated by them exceeds the original amount borrowed.”
Now that the TIF bid has been given the go ahead work will now begin on a full business case allowing work to begin during 2012-13.
Welcoming the announcement SNP Group Leader at Falkirk Council, Councillor David Alexander said:
“I am delighted that the SNP government has approved Falkirk’s bid and would like to pay tribute to our local MSPs, Angus MacDonald, Falkirk East and Michael Matheson, Falkirk West. Both have worked extremely hard on the council’s behalf and both have justified the faith shown in them by the electorate in May.
It is ironic that the Labour Councillors who now see the SNP’s Futures Trust as their salvation have spent the last four years opposing and berating the initiative.
We have had four and a half years of stagnation and inactivity on major projects within Falkirk Council. Now, thanks to the SNP Government the excuse for council inactivity has been removed.
The question we must now ask is, whether the current Labour / Tory Administration have the vision and energy to take advantage of the windfall provided by SNP ministers or whether a change of Administration is required to fully release Falkirk district’s potential.”