Shovel ready projects


Infrastructure projects worth more than £300 million could get underway now if the UK Government gives Scotland the green light, Alex Neil said today.

The Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment was speaking as a list of 36 projects that are “shovel ready” was provided to Westminster by the Scottish Government.

If these go ahead now, they could provide a vital support to employment with every additional £100 million of capital spending estimated to support around 1,400 jobs across the Scottish economy.

All of these projects are close to or already have completed the planning and procurement process and are ready for construction to get underway.

However, with UK Government cuts of 32 per cent in Scotland’s capital budget having a severe effect, funding for them is not yet available.

As a result the Scottish Government is asking the UK Government to allow Scotland to bring forward capital funding from future years, to allow construction to get underway straight away.

The list of projects, which was submitted last week, includes:

* Work on Ullapool Pier, worth £4m
* £13m for University of Glasgow - Centre for Virology Research
* Work on Inverness Campus, worth £6m
* £37m for Clyde Gateway developments at Bridgeton Cross, Dalmarnock Cross, Rutherglen and Shawfield.

Mr Neil said:

“The Scottish Government has always been clear that investing in our infrastructure is one of the primary ways to create jobs and stimulate growth in our economy.

“That is why Westminster cuts in our capital budget of 32 per cent are both wrong and damaging.

“But we are not simply accepting these cuts. Instead we are acting to maintain investment by switching revenue spending to capital funding, and bringing forward a £2.5 billion pipeline of projects to be delivered through the non-profit distributing model. This means Scottish Government supported capital spending will be 25 per cent higher by the end of the spending review.

“But the cuts we are having to absorb mean that certain projects have not been delivered as quickly as we would like.

“At a recent meeting the Prime Minister suggested to the First Minister that he accepted the principle of bringing forward capital investment but explained there are not suitable "shovel ready" projects in England which could receive funding to begin in 2012 or 2013. That is not the case in Scotland, and the First Minister made that clear, and suggested supplying a list highlighting where opportunities exist.

“We have done that, showing there are valuable projects, that will boost the economy and provide work, right across Scotland, that are ripe for investment now.

“If these projects got underway this year, rather than being delayed, they would generate significant employment impacts that would be vital as we continue to do all we can to tackle unemployment. For example, it is estimated that each additional £100 million of capital spending supports 1,400 in the Scottish economy.

“The Scottish Government will go on doing what we can, but we need the UK Government to allow us to bring forward capital spending to get the diggers on the ground and these projects built as soon as possible.

“What this highlights is the limitations of the current constitutional arrangements, in particular our inability to borrow. That means work is delayed while we await the green light from Westminster, which is completely unacceptable and is holding us back.”

Full list of projects, which was submitted to the UK Government on March 2nd:

  • Ullapool Pier - Passenger access system, traffic management, new berthing dolphin and replacement linkspan, £4m
  • Gourock-Dunoon Pontoons £2m
  • Kennacraig Phase 2, £4m
  • A96 Threapland, £6m
  • A68 Pathhead to Tynehead Junction, £6m
  • A95 Lackgie, £4m
  • A702 Candymill Bend and Edmonstone Brae, £4m
  • A737 Head Street Roundabout, £1.5m
  • A876 Kincardine Bridge Refurbishment, £14m
  • A75 Hardgrove to Kinmount, £10m
  • M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements: Advance Public Utilities, £37.8m
  • Health Maintenance to ensure assets are safe, effective and person centred, £50m
  • Accelerating Schools for the Future – worth £30.8m
  • University projects worth £35m including:

University of Glasgow - Centre for Virology Research

University of Dundee - Phases 2 and 3 - refurbishment of Duncan of Jordanstone

University of Abertay / Dundee College - Dundee Academy of Sport

University of Edinburgh - Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Dundee Central Waterfront, £4.5m
  • Fife Energy Park - Site Development, £3.5m
  • ITREZ Technology Innovation Centre, £4m
  • ATOS Building - Forress Enterprise Park, £3m
  • Inverness Campus, £6m
  • Forres Enterprise Park - Extension of Roads, £2m
  • Forres Enterprise Park - Provide 2 Units, £3m
  • European Marine Science Park - Ground works, £3.5m
  • Creative Clyde, £1.7m
  • National Renewable Infrastructure Plan - Hunterston Quay Upgrade, £2m
  • Priority investments within Local Authority Strategic Housing Investment Plans £15m
  • Plans
  • Clyde Gateway developments at Bridgeton Cross, Dalmarnock Cross, Rutherglen and Shawfield, £37m
  • Ayr Gaiety Theatre regeneration, £1m
  • National Records of Scotland - Thomas Thomson House - urgent roof repairs, £1.5m
  • Historic Scotland - Abbotsford House - restoration to bring into public use ,£0.7m
  • Historic Scotland - Lews Castle development, £1m
  • Forestry Commission Scotland - upgrade of visitor facilities at David Marshall Lodge,
  • Aberfoyle and Queen's View, Perthshire, £1m
  • National Parks - visitor facility improvements within the National Parks, £1m
  • Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh - commence replacement of the Garden's ageing glasshouses, £1.5m

TOTAL £302m