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Leader slams regeneration axe

Published: 3 Nov 2011 16:2027 comments

THE leader of Inverclyde Council has condemned Scottish Government plans to axe funding for the area's urban regeneration company.

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As exclusively revealed by the Telegraph today, Riverside Inverclyde has been told it will receive no more money from the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise after March 2013.

Council leader Stephen McCabe this afternoon hit out at the bombshell news.

Councillor McCabe said: "This is devastating news for Inverclyde and one which undermines all the hard work that is going on to deliver real change and improvements in people's lives.

"We were shocked earlier this year when this funding was cut by 60 per cent, but to add insult to injury we now face a further cut of 37.5 per cent to £2.5 million in 2012-2013 before the plug is finally pulled.

"This council has put the regeneration of the area at the top of its delivery agenda and has backed up that commitment by meeting its funding obligations to Riverside Inverclyde in full despite our own budgetary pressures."

Riverside Inverclyde was established in 2007 as a 10-year initiative to transform Inverclyde into a more attractive place for the private sector to invest and for jobs to be created.

Funding was to be provided by the Scottish Government (£36 million), Scottish Enterprise (£33 million) and Inverclyde Council (£24 million).

The URC is currently undertaking a variety of projects including the £180 million development of the historic James Watt Dock in Greenock, the regeneration of Greenock, Gourock and Port Glasgow town centres and the development of the Victoria and East India Harbours.

Councillor McCabe added: "We had recently been given assurances that Riverside Inverclyde would be funded throughout its 10 years so this news came as a complete shock.

"I have asked the government's cabinet secretary for infrastructure and capital investment to honour a commitment in the Scottish Government's own spending review of continued investment in areas that need additional support and re-think this decision.

"So much good work has been done over the past four years it would be a betrayal to deprive the people of Inverclyde the future which they deserve and towards which so much good work has already been done."

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