Angus MacDonald Throws His Weight Behind TIF Bid
Saturday, 27 August 2011 08:54
Bid To Boost Economic Development Funding Launched
Angus MacDonald, MSP for Falkirk East, has thrown his weight behind an ambitious bid which, if successful, would significantly boost economic development in the Grangemouth and Falkirk areas.
Falkirk Council this week submitted a bid for Tax Incremental Finance (TIF) funding to the Scottish Government that, if successful, could end up generating £528m of construction investment and almost 6,000 jobs for the area.
The TIF bid would allow major infrastructure projects to be carried out that will allow expansion and growth of new and existing projects and businesses.
Projects include: Improvements to the Avon Gorge A801 road; improvements at Westfield roundabout/A904; Grangemouth flood defences and developments around the M9 corridor totalling some £52m.
It is intended that key sites such as Earls Gate Park, Abbotsford Business Park, Falkirk Gateway, and Falkirk Stadium will be included in the bid submission
Falkirk East’s MSP Angus MacDonald has already lobbied Finance Minister John Swinney and has had discussions about the bid with Barry White, Chief Executive of the Scottish Futures Trust. Mr MacDonald has also recently raised the issue in the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy & Tourism Committee, to which he was appointed following his election in May.
Angus MacDonald said:
“This is a very exciting proposal, which if successful will see a number of overdue infrastructure projects started, including improvements to the Avon Gorge A801 road; improvements at Westfield roundabout/A904; Grangemouth flood defences and developments around the M9 corridor, including a major upgrade of Junction 6.
“Since my election in May I have raised the proposal with the Finance Minister John Swinney, the Chief Executive of the Scottish Futures Trust Barry White and have promoted the pilot at the Economy, Energy & Tourism Committee.”
“I will continue to lobby all the relevant decision makers between now and the expected final decision in October and will stress the need for these local infrastructure projects to move forward sooner rather than later.”
“If the bid is successful TIF would 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.
“It is ironic however that in the last throes of the inactive, do-nothing Labour/Tory administration at Falkirk Council they are reaching out to the SNP Government for a lifeline from the Scottish Futures Trust which Falkirk Council’s Labour and Tory leaders have opposed over the last four years.
“Despite the current Falkirk Council administration’s apparent inertia over the last four years, I will do all in my power in Edinburgh to ensure that this TIF bid is successful. The development of a TIF in the Falkirk / Grangemouth area presents a significant opportunity to assist in overcoming infrastructure constraints to development and to accelerate new investment
“The Scottish Government already recognises the importance of Grangemouth and the wider Falkirk district to the national economy, generating over £3 billion annually, which will hopefully have some bearing on the final decision".
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.
A final decision is expected by October 2011 and if successful, work would begin on a full business case allowing work to begin during 2012-13.