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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 October 2007, 17:35 GMT
Sports cash boost for Ravenscraig
Ravenscraig sports facility (Artist's impression)
The new sports facility is part of a 1.2bn redevelopment of the site
A 29m regional sports facility on the site of a former steelworks has received Scottish Government backing.

Sports minister Stewart Maxwell announced 7m funding for the project at Ravenscraig in North Lanarkshire.

The project will also be funded by North Lanarkshire Council and developers Ravenscraig Limited.

The facility will feature full-size indoor and outdoor football pitches, a sports hall, an athletics track and a dance studio.

There will also be six floodlit synthetic five-a-side outdoor pitches, a state-of-the-art gym and an indoor soft play area.

The sporting venue is expected to be in the running for selection as a pre-games training camp for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

It will be a major boost for Ravenscraig's economic rebirth and to sports facilities in North Lanarkshire and the wider area
Stewart Maxwell
Sports Minister

As well as benefiting elite sports competitors, the facility is also aimed at serving local community needs and encouraging sporting development from the grassroots.

After viewing plans for the new development, Mr Maxwell said: "This announcement underlines this government's commitment to the provision of world class sporting facilities in Scotland.

"It will be a major boost for Ravenscraig's economic rebirth and to sports facilities in North Lanarkshire and the wider area.

"We hope it will help us achieve our goal of seeing as many Scottish sportsmen and women as possible take part in the London Olympics in 2012 and, if we win our bid, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014."

Ravenscraig
The Ravenscraig towers were demolished in 1996

The Ravenscraig project is the latest is the latest of 10 projects to receive stage two approval under the government's 50m National and Regional Sports Facilities Strategy (NRSFS).

Julia Bracewell OBE, chair of sportscotland, said: "Quality accessible facilities are vital if sport is to thrive in Scotland.

"There needs to be the right quality and mix of facilities across the country which meets national, regional and local requirements, helping to develop future successful sporting generations."

Councillor Jim McCabe, leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said: "Today's announcement really does give us the green light to get things moving on this landmark regional sports facility.

"It will deliver significant benefits not only for professional sportsmen and women, but will be ideally placed to serve local community needs as well."

'Sporting prowess'

Opposition parties at Holyrood have welcomed the funding announcement by the SNP administration.

Liberal Democrat sport spokesman Jim Tolson MSP said: "I was worried that the sports minister had given up hope that Scotland could benefit from the 2012 Olympics.

"Liberal Democrats welcome this investment in the health and sporting prowess of young Scots.

"The Scottish Government must work to ensure that Scotland benefits from the 2012 London Olympics."

The Ravenscraig steelworks closed in 1992 and now a 1.2bn regeneration of the site is under way.

As well as the regional sports facility, phase one of the redevelopment also includes the creation of 820 homes, and a new campus for Motherwell College.



SEE ALSO
Regeneration plans win approval
23 Jul 07 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
1.2bn Ravenscraig project starts
15 Dec 06 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Ravenscraig protests thrown out
25 Oct 06 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
20m plan for former steelworks
04 May 06 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West

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