Tayside and Central Scotland

Stirling Council approves £200m city plans

Stirling Castle Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption A new city park near the castle is planned as part of the project

Councillors in Stirling have voted through £200m plans to make the city an "economic and cultural powerhouse".

The local authority has identified three initial projects, including a "digital district" and a "civic quarter", with new council buildings.

Space in the civic quarter will also be built in for small businesses.

The UK and Scottish governments, along with other potential investors, will now be formally consulted over the proposals.

Stirling Council said the three initial projects had to the potential to generate more than £80m a year for the local economy and create 1,700 jobs.

Part of the civic quarter development includes a square with an "international" visitor attraction.

The council will hold a series of roadshows in the new year to outline the plans for UK and foreign investors, and the plans will also go on display across the Stirling area from January.

'Place of enterprise'

Johanna Boyd, council Leader and chairwoman of the Stirling City Commission, said the development would help revitalise the city and the region and was about much more than infrastructure alone.

"We need to challenge ourselves to ensure that Stirling becomes a truly world-class city with benefits for all our citizens, particularly those most in need, and this is what the city development framework is designed to do," she said.

"It is as much about creating connections - linking rural and urban, enabling and working with our communities, and making sure that the entire Stirling area is a place of enterprise and opportunity for all."

Further plans would include the regeneration of the Mercat Cross area of the city, a new conference centre and a new city park near the castle.

Stewart Carruth, Stirling Council chief executive, said the plans were vital for Stirling to compete globally.

"Stirling compares well with other Scottish cities but our aspiration is to benchmark ourselves against the best in the world - cities like Stockholm that use their size, ambition and educational and technological assets to drive economic growth and generate wealth and prosperity for all their citizens," he said.

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