Fife Council to investigate best way to deliver £25m of grant-funded infrastructure as part of River Leven Regeneration Programme
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Councillors on the Cabinet Committee have backed an approach which will see the local authority investigate delivery of the programme through the SCAPE Civil Engineering Framework, which is deemed to be the most timely, cost effective and lowest risk method of carrying out the initial phases of the Leven Connectivity Project and improvements to Riverside Park in Glenrothes.
The UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund allocated £19.4m to the council for River Leven Regeneration projects – £14.43m for the Leven Connectivity Project and £4.98m for Riverside Park. A further £5.77m has been successfully secured from Sustrans’ Places for Everyone Funding to help support the Leven Connectivity Project.
With a deadline for spend on the Levelling Up cash of March 2025, Fife Council believes use of the SCAPE Civil Engineering Framework would allow timely delivery of the contract worksby a single process, which would allow better co-ordination of the programme’s sub-components, minimise disruption to communities and ensure grant allocations would be spent by funding deadlines.
Councillor Altany Craik, finance, economy and strategic planning spokesperson, said: “This is a signficant civil engineering programme of work within a very short timescale which has a direct relationship with the works for the Leven Rail Link, the road network in Leven and the River Parks where detailed planning approval and design details are yet to be concluded. Each of these issues have specific constraints due to the rail line becoming operational by December 2023 and the extent of the existing road network that can be subject to works at any one time. In terms of risks with the Levelling Up Funding award, delays, over runs, unforeseen conditions and effects of inflationary costs etc fall to the council.
"Hence the requirement for a carefully managed contract and the appointment of an experienced civil engineering contractor are critical to successfully manage the risk and ensure that works and budget targets are fully met within deadlines.”
The River Leven Regeneration Programme is focussed on place-based regeneration projects with a view to improve connectivity, tourism, natural assets and provide the first sections in connecting Leven with Loch Leven through an active travel route. Councillors also heard that one of the projects, a new footbridge crossing at Mountfleurie maintaining the core path route connecting Mountfleurie and Kirkland, is to be delivered separately through Network Rail and their contractor.
The approach being taken by Fife Council should mean business cases can be presented to councillors later this summer with a view to construction starting in the autumn.