MONEY will be invested in Clackmannan to help mitigate the effect of Longannet Power Station closing.

At a meeting of Clackmannanshire Council on October 13 plans were agreed to invest £2million in the area.

Councillors heard that, following an application by the council, the Scottish Government awarded the funding as part of the local economic development fund.

This investment, along with £2m capital money already approved is a considerable response to mitigate the adverse impacts of the Longannet closure.

The regeneration project, which forms part of the Longannet economic recovery plan and is consistent with the objectives of the Clackmannan community action plan, has been developed in partnership with Clackmannan Development Trust and the community council.  

It will build on the considerable infrastructure investment which has taken place in recent years, including the construction of the Clackmannanshire Bridge and the reopening of the Alloa to Stirling rail passenger service.  

The meeting also heard there is the potential for the construction of approximately 35 social housing units in the town.

It is expected to be a three-year project overall; however, the local economic development funding will be used to support a number of elements this financial year including town centre renewal, small and medium enterprise development, community amenities and enterprise, parking and mitigation of congestion issues.

Councillor Kathleen Martin, environment spokesperson for the administration, said: “This investment is good news for Clackmannan, and will help to address the very real impact of the loss of well-paid jobs following the closure of Longannet.  

“Working with the local community, the council has developed a regeneration plan which was successful in obtaining this considerable funding award.  

“Work will be starting very soon to help create support for local business to develop and flourish and to improve the environment of Clackmannan.”

Robert Horne, chair of Clackmannan Development Trust (CDT), hailed the £2m fund as fantastic news for the community, adding that the aspirations conveyed in their recent Community Action Plan could now come to fruition.

He told the Advertiser: "We can now take positive steps towards realising our potential as an attractive destination for tourism and business and therefore help make Clackmannan a better place to live, work and visit.

"I understand that our funders were impressed by the quality of development work already being undertaken by the CDT and that there was a clear vision on how we could regenerate our town.

"We were also able to demonstrate very good partnership working with Clackmannanshire Council, the local community council and other community groups.

"This all contributed to a strong and successful funding application."

Mr Horne added: "In these challenging times of economic uncertainty I am delighted that Clackmannan has been given this much needed funding boost to help us implement our action plan projects and bring about much needed improvements to our Auld County Town.

"These are exciting times and the CDT look forward to a continuing close working relationship with our community partners to help bring about positive changes and benefits for Clackmannan.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the hard working CDT Town Centre Regen project group; Councillor Kathleen Martin for her continued and valued support; Clackmannanshire Council strategy and customer services for their professionalism with the funding application; and to Pauline Douglas and her team at Coalfields Regeneration Trust for all their help in putting together our Community Action Plan. Without which we would never have had the opportunity to apply for this funding."