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Burness strengthens URC role

13 March 2006

Burness LLP has won further advisory work on the urban regeneration front, with a role in relation to each of the three new urban regeneration companies (URCs) announced by the First Minister last week earlier this month. Burness is now involved in five out of the six URCs which will operate in Scotland.

URCs are companies set up by public sector partners - usually the local council and local enterprise company - with directors also being drawn from the private sector and sometimes from local communities. Their aim is to regenerate communities that have suffered long-term economic and social decline by creating jobs, homes and retail and leisure facilities, as well as by making significant improvements to the overall environment.

URCs are geared towards facilitating private sector partnerships and, crucially, private sector financial investment.

Stephen Phillips, the partner who heads Burness' urban regeneration practice said: "The introduction of URCs into the Scottish regeneration scene is undoubtedly something to be welcomed - they bring a new focus and energy to the regeneration of areas in Scotland which are suffering serious economic disadvantage and the multiple social problems which come with that."

He added: "There remain queries among regeneration practitioners about how far URCs will deliver on all four essential requirements of true regeneration - the social, economic and environmental dimensions as well as the physical dimension - but my personal view is that, properly structured URCs can and will make a significant contribution."

The three new areas to benefit are Clyde Gateway, Riverside Inverclyde and Irvine Bay. These come in addition to Craigmillar (Edinburgh), Clydebank and Raploch (Stirling).