£29m for Ravenscraig sports complex


Go-ahead has been given for the construction of a new £29 million sports facility at the former Ravenscraig steelworks in North Lanarkshire.

The Scottish Government, through the national sports agency sportscotland, is backing North Lanarkshire Council and Ravenscraig Limited's £29 million Ravenscraig project with £7 million.

It is the latest of ten projects to receive stage two approval under the Government's £50 million National and Regional Sports Facilities Strategy (NRSFS), which includes £21.2 million of sportscotland Lottery funding.

The Ravenscraig project will feature a full-size indoor synthetic football pitch, a 135 metre by six-lane athletics track with associated field event training areas, a regional nine-court indoor sports hall, a full-size floodlit outdoor synthetic grass pitch and six floodlit synthetic five-a-side outdoor pitches. A state-of-the-art gym, two dance studios and indoor soft play area will also feature in the completed facility.

Minister for Communities and Sport Stewart Maxwell joined representatives from sportscotland, North Lanarkshire Council and Ravenscraig Limited, at Ravenscraig today to view plans for the new development.

North View of new Ravenscraig sports complex

Mr Maxwell said:

"This announcement underlines this Government's commitment to the provision of world class sporting facilities in Scotland.

"It will be a major boost for Ravenscraig's economic rebirth and to sports facilities in North Lanarkshire and the wider area. I'm delighted to be able to commit an investment of £7 million to help support it.

"As part of the National and Regional Sports Facilities Strategy, the centre at Ravenscraig will provide first-class facilities for the community and an ideal training ground for athletes.

"We hope it will help us achieve our goal of seeing as many Scottish sportsmen and women as possible take part in the London Olympics in 2012 and, if we win our bid, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014."

Every corner of Scotland has benefited from investment through the National and Regional Sports Facilities Strategy, ranging from Aberdeen's Linksfield facility (£7 million), Stirling's Forthbank sports village (£2.5 million) and projects in Glasgow which will see a municipal stadium and indoor athletics training area at Scotstoun and an indoor football facility at Toryglen (total of £7.5 million). Other projects, including the National Indoor Arena and Velodrome in Glasgow and facilities in Falkirk and Edinburgh, are also planned.

It's hoped as many of the facilities as possible will be up and running for Scottish and international athletes to use as training grounds for the 2012 London Olympics and, if Glasgow's bid is successful, the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

Julia Bracewell OBE, Chair of sportscotland said:

"Quality accessible facilities are vital if sport is to thrive in Scotland. There needs to be the right quality and mix of facilities across the country which meets national, regional and local requirements, helping to develop future successful sporting generations.

"We are delighted to provide £7 million for the Ravenscraig project. This will be an important sport facility for the people of North Lanarkshire and particularly for our elite athletes and those with an inspiration to compete at a higher level."

Councillor Jim McCabe, Leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said:

"Today's announcement really does give us the green light to get things moving on this landmark regional sports facility that will deliver significant benefits not only for professional sportsmen and women, but will be ideally placed to serve local community needs as well, encouraging sporting development from the grass roots up and healthy and active lifestyles for all.

"This is a key commitment for North Lanarkshire Council and lies at the heart of the Lanarkshire bid for the International Children's Games 2011, which we launched last week. Ravenscraig and the International Children's Games will firmly put the Lanarkshire area on the map."

Jim Fitzsimons, Development Director, Wilson Bowden Developments Ltd and Director of Ravenscraig Ltd said:

"This is extremely welcome news and a major boost to this excellent project. sportscotland's contribution to the multi-million pound regional sports facility at Ravenscraig is in addition to the £9 million being provided by Ravenscraig Partnership and will ensure the whole community benefits from a huge range of health, fitness and leisure opportunities. The sports facility will be located on an 18 acre site next to the town centre and will have the ability to become a multi-function arena which can hold exhibitions and concerts.

"This announcement is the latest piece of good news for the Ravenscraig project and follows Motherwell College's decision to relocate to a new state-of-the-art campus which will be built on the site. Both of these developments will contribute to an exciting future for Ravenscraig."

The £7 million investment in North Lanarkshire Council and Ravenscraig's Limited Ravenscraig Project is made up of £4.97 million Government funding and £2.03 million sportscotland Lottery funding.

The aim of the Scottish Government's NRSFS is to develop a network of multi-sport facilities across Scotland, including a national indoor arena and two versatile municipal stadia. The facilities will serve the geographical areas covered by the Area Institutes of Sport, namely: Central; East of Scotland; Grampian; Highlands; Tayside & Fife; and West of Scotland.

The Ravenscraig facility is one of four North Lanarkshire facilities put forward for selection as 'Pre-Games Training Camps' for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.