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February 27, 2008

Big regeneration – wee regeneration

We were told some months ago that Scottish Enterprise is to unload smaller developments to local authorities – but since then – silence. This welcome decentralisation will provide the opportunity for the more effective involvement of local people


Scotland’s main development agency has not decided which regeneration projects it will devolve to councils less than six weeks before the scheduled transfer, Regeneration & Renewal has learned.

Last September, the Scottish Government announced that Scottish Enterprise would transfer responsibility for “local regeneration functions” to councils this April (R&R,5 October2007,p8).

But four months on, a spokeswoman said Scottish Enterprise is still discussing the future of its physical regeneration programme with councils and the country’s government. She said “local” is still undefined. “I think that’s why discussions are ongoing,” she said.

Murray Collins, director of developer Wilson Bowden’s regeneration project at Ravenscraig, said he was concerned about the uncertainty. “[Scottish Enterprise] can’t tell us if they’re going to remain as our partner and if they do remain, will they get any funding to continue the project? There’s not a lot of time left [to decide].”

Patrick Wiggins, chief executive of Irvine Bay urban regeneration company, said he thought Scottish Enterprise would continue to fund all URCs, including his own. “URCs are definitely not deemed as being local,” he said. “[But] we’re still working through the process in terms of getting absolutely final funding in place.”