Ravenscraig National Park

Ravenscraig National Park Across Europe, Scotland prides itself on having some of the most ambitious environmental, social and economic policy objectives, focused on building a modern, successful, sustainable and inclusive nation. Scotland’s national park policy is at a crossroads, with a real opportunity to be globally innovative in its next steps for designation, thinking more broadly and deepening the inter-relationships between policy aspirations. Scottish policy is firmly focused on environmental, social and economic success. The concept of an urban, micro national park on one of Europe’s largest brownfield development sites offers a unique opportunity to use existing public and private sector partnerships, and the Glasgow Region City Deal, to transform an iconic Scottish landscape and showcase innovative policy and partnerships delivering a UK first.

Why the contribution is important

As the site of what was once Western Europe’s largest hot strip steel mill, and now one of the continent’s largest brownfield development opportunities, Ravenscraig is a Scottish Government national development priority. The closure of Ravenscraig in 1992 signalled the end of large-scale steel making in Scotland, and was the cause of a loss of 770 jobs, with another 10,000 job losses directly and indirectly linked to the closure. The closure left an economic, social and environmental legacy, including vacant, derelict and contaminated land which continues to be subject to remediation. Poverty and inequality remain significant features and in North Lanarkshire 15% of the population are income deprived, with nearly one in four children living in poverty. One in four children. For decades, following the closure of the steelworks in 1992, Ravenscraig was one of the largest derelict sites in Europe measuring over 1,125 acres (4.55 km2) in size, an area equivalent to 700 football pitches or twice the size of Monaco. Ravenscraig lies between the towns of Wishaw and Motherwell and the villages of Carfin and Newarthill, an area with a combined population of over 120,000. Ravenscraig is neighboured by rail stations, including Motherwell - home to national, regional and local services and new multi-modal infrastructure offers easy access to the M74 and the M8 motorways, which lead to Glasgow and Edinburgh – Scotland's two largest cities – respectively. A rail line travels directly through the site with the potential to revitalise plans for a new public transport hub at the heart of a new national park. Ravenscraig offers a unique opportunity to think differently about how innovative national park policy can drive regeneration, development, inclusive employment, social advancement, vacant, derelict and contaminated land, river and air quality policy whilst boosting eco tourism linking to Strathclyde Park, Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility, New College Lanarkshire and other local assets. Ravenscraig National Park can be realised by utilising existing public and private sector partnerships (Tara Steel, Wilson Bowden and Scottish Enterprise) and the Glasgow City Region Deal. The park can link with existing and planned infrastructure and social capital projects (inc Ravenscraig woodlands) and develop through collaboration by public and private agencies with local stakeholders. Scotland can lead the world in innovative, connected national park policy. Ravenscraig is that opportunity.

by AgendaScotland on June 05, 2022 at 11:19PM

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  • Posted by camusfearna June 05, 2022 at 23:43

    A well-argued case for some new innovative thinking to improve the lives of people living in the area through regeneration, jobs, etc while also addressing the issue of vacant, derelict and contaminated land and driving increased tourism. And, if I understand the case, this would be achieved with existing agencies and not need a new public body. However, whether 'national park' designation is the answer is debatable, certainly under the criteria in the founding legislation.
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