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Land deal price agreed as Forthside plans move step closer

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Talks between Stirling Council and the Ministry of Defence have finally paid off – with a transfer of the former MoD land at Forthside now complete.The purchase of the 36-acre site by the council is being fully funded by a £5million grant from the UK Government as part of the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal – a £214m partnership between Stirling and Clackmannanshire Councils, the University of Stirling and the UK and Scottish Governments.It will be carried out in two phases, with around 80 per cent of the land acquired by the end of March and the remainder handed over by the end of June this year, following the completion of decontamination works.The disused site sits on the south bank of the River Forth and is the largest brownfield area in the city centre.Some councillors had repeatedly expressed concern during meetings that the local authority would have to foot a hefty bill for Forthside’s remediation and the MoD last year carried out a contamination probe at the site in order for works to be undertaken prior to the transfer of the land to the council.The council says work can now start on its transformation into a prime economic location, with the costs met from a £19m grant the council secured from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund.Most of this funding (£16m) will be spent on the redevelopment of the former MoD land, including new roads and footways, the demolition of some redundant buildings, site clearance and infrastructure for the likes of power, drainage and communications.The remaining £3m will provide new active travel infrastructure between Forthside, the city centre and surrounding areas.The substantial investment will include housing, commercial development space, enhanced public

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