Council steps in to save company

THE council has announced it will purchase the properties of East Dunbartonshire Development Company in order to support ongoing economic regeneration activity in the area.

Financial difficulties caused by the recession have beset the company, which was set up to secure investment in local projects, and its takeover is expected to be concluded by the end of this month.

Councillor Billy Hendry, depute leader of the council, said: “Following extensive negotiations between the council, the development company and its bankers, an agreement is now in place and the council is delighted to be in the final stages of purchasing these valuable assets for the benefit of the local economy.

“This is a major boost in the current economic climate and we look forward to being able to use the property portfolio to support our local businesses and attract new business to the area. Robust business plans are in place to support this asset purchase and we are confident of securing long term benefits for the local community.”

Council leader Rhondda Geekie, who serves on the board of the development company, echoed these sentiments whilst recognising the many successes of the company over the years.

She said: “The development company has done a magnificent job in securing major investment in the area including Westerhill, Lennoxtown, Twechar, Milngavie and of course the transformation of Southbank Business Park and Marina.

“The company was established to maximise opportunities in accessing European Union Funding and to take forward development in areas where the private sector was not prepared to do so.

“Changes in European funding arrangements and the financial downturn have totally changed the operating basis of the company however and the time is now right for the council to lead on this aspect of local economic regeneration”