Falkirk infrastructure plan on track with vital road link to receive 2.1m pound upgrade
First Project Works Under £67m Tax Incremental Scheme to Launch in November
The first infrastructure project under Falkirk Council's £67m Tax Incremental Finance scheme is underway, with ground works set to start next month.
The £2.1million upgrade project at the M9 Junction 6 slip road at Glensburgh to Earlsgate Interchange signals the start of the Council's 25-year infrastructure plan, expected to attract £413 million in private investment that will create thousands of jobs and hundreds of apprenticeships.
Set to be delivered over three phases across Falkirk and Grangemouth, the infrastructure plan includes improving M9 motorway links to established industrial areas and unlocking 400,000 square metres of business space. The area that covers the first project currently carries up to 40,000 vehicles per day. The M9 Junction 6 slip road at Glensburgh is also marked by Scotland's newest and largest piece of public art, The Kelpies equine sculpture, meaning that the work will also support expected tourist traffic to its home at The Helix, the area's 350 hectare urban parkland due to be completed next year.
The works, to improve traffic flow, will be carried out over a 6 month period by contractor Wills Bros Ltd with a number of local jobs expected to be awarded throughout the term of the contract. The project will involve the installation of traffic signals on the staggered crossroads in Glensburgh - M9 Off Slip/A905 Glensburgh Road/Forth Clyde Way and the installation of traffic signals on the approach roads to Earlsgate Interchange. Traffic signal controlled pedestrian crossings will also be provided at various locations.
This week, representatives from Falkirk Council, Wills Bros Ltd, Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) and Scottish Enterprise visited the location of the first project for a final inspection before the work commences on Monday, 11 November.
Councillor Dennis Goldie, Falkirk Council's spokesperson on economic development, said: "The launch of the works at Earlsgate is a significant first step in our ambitious plans to build a stronger future for our local economy and ensure Falkirk is contributing to the nation's wealth. We're working with our partners and the private sector to deliver an effective infrastructure programme that will support growth, attract inward investment and secure a future for our young people.
"Thousands of vehicles pass through this slip road and intersection every day with haulage making up a significant proportion of the traffic. The logistical demands on this area together with the important part it plays in creating better access to attract more investment and development made it a priority project.
"The works will involve some disruption to traffic especially around peak times but the long term benefits of the project will be beneficial to Grangemouth and the area as a whole."
Tax Incremental Finance will allow Falkirk and Grangemouth to maintain and grow a number of industries and sectors that are important nationally such as petrochemicals, manufacturing and port activity against the backdrop of highly competitive global industries.
Malcolm Logistics, a division of The Malcolm Group, runs one of its 22 road, rail, warehousing and bonded warehousing services from Grangemouth. The business believes it will directly benefit from Falkirk's infrastructure project.
Jim Clark, Managing Director of Malcolm Logistics commented: "During the last 16 years we have experienced strong growth in the area which has been made possible by the strategic location of Grangemouth. We see the area as having significant development opportunities going forward and welcome and support the forward thinking and investment in road infrastructure through TIF/J6 and further proposed improvements. We believe that this initiative will be critical in unlocking the full potential of the area."
Scottish Futures Trust, set up by the Scottish Government to deliver value for money across public sector infrastructure, has spearheaded the development of the TIF model for use in Scotland.
SFT manages the TIF programme and Tony Rose, SFT's infrastructure director, stated: "The beauty of TIF is that once the Business Case gains approval, construction can get underway. We are naturally delighted to see work start on this vital infrastructure project that has the potential to attract significant additional investment into Falkirk and surrounding areas."