Ravenscraig is an area of land located in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, Scotland, due to become a new town. Ravenscraig was formerly the site of Ravenscraig steelworks; once the largest hot strip steel mill in western Europe, the steelworks closed in 1992, and is now almost totally demolished.

Ravenscraig 2012.jpg
Ravenscraig site in January 2012, with Motherwell in the background
Ravenscraig is located in North Lanarkshire
Location within North Lanarkshire
OS grid referenceNS756563
• Edinburgh41 mi (66 km)
• London393 mi (632 km)
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtML1
Dialling code01698
EU ParliamentScotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
55°47′31″N 3°58′03″W / 55.792017°N 3.967524°W / 55.792017; -3.967524Coordinates: 55°47′31″N 3°58′03″W / 55.792017°N 3.967524°W / 55.792017; -3.967524

The site is now in the process of a major redevelopment by Wilson Bowden Developments Ltd, Scottish Enterprise and Tata Steel Europe.[1]


Located in North Lanarkshire, Ravenscraig lies between the towns of Wishaw and Motherwell and the villages of Carfin and Newarthill, an area with a combined population of over 120,000.[2]

Ravenscraig is only some ten minutes drive from both the M74 and the M8 motorways, which lead to Glasgow and Edinburgh – Scotland's two largest cities – respectively.

A rail line travels directly through the site and another travels around the opposite end of the site.


Ravenscraig Rolling Mills in 1985

Ravenscraig Steel Works, as well as the former settlement of the same title, took its name from the nearby secluded cliff face called Ravenscraig. This translates as Raven's Cliff or Cliff of the Ravens. It is situated in the valley of the North Calder Water, north of the steelworks site. This is first shown on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map of 1859.

A major expansion of Colvilles, the largest steel manufacturer in the United Kingdom before World War II,[3] was approved in July 1954 by the Iron and Steel Board.[4]

In 1954 the first stages of development began in Ravenscraig, turning a green field into a site for steelworks. By 1957 several coke ovens, a by-products plant, a blast furnace and an open hearth melting shop with three steelmaking furnaces were built, and by 1959 a stripmill was complete.[5]

The closure of Ravenscraig in 1992 signalled the end of large-scale steel making in Scotland,[6] and was the cause of a loss of 770 jobs, with another 10,000 job losses directly and indirectly linked to the closure.

Current stateEdit

Ravenscraig from the air

In its current state, Ravenscraig is one of the largest derelict sites in Europe measuring over 1,125 acres (4.55 km2) in size, an area equivalent to 700 football pitches or twice the size of Monaco.[7] The main spine of the new road network has been constructed and there are facilities onsite to help decontaminate the River Calder which suffered during the years Ravenscraig steelworks was in operation.[8] There are also plantations designed to encourage diversity in the site wildlife.


After many years of planning, Ravenscraig will be 'regenerated' and rebuilt by three equal shareholders: Wilson Bowden Developments Ltd, Scottish Enterprise and Tata Steel. The project will be one of the largest regenerations in Europe, with 400 acres (1.6 km2) being developed.[9][10]

Ravenscraig will be home to several new facilities:[1]

New Facilities
3,500 new homes[11]
A new town centre with 84,000 m² of retail and leisure space
Up to 216,000 m² of business and industrial space
Major parkland areas
A new transport network
New sports facility[12]
A new college campus
Two new schools
A hotel

Part of the development will be to create new habitats for the wildlife already living in the area, such as deer, foxes, hares, otters, badgers, watervoles, butterflies and birds such as the wader, song thrush and the little ringed plover, with an Ecological Clerk of Works appointed to 'ensure compliance with Ravenscraig Ltd.’s aims and objectives by all developers and contractors.'[13]

The new £29 million sports complex (completed October 2010) was used as training camps for the 2012 London Olympics in London and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.[14] The complex was also the host facility for the 2011 International Children's Games.[15]


The plans for the regeneration generated a certain amount of controversy; local residents and businesses were worried about the proposed shopping facilities. It is feared that new shopping facilities in the town centre will destroy jobs and nearby businesses and town centres (e.g. Motherwell and Wishaw) will suffer. Nearby shopping centres such as Motherwell Shopping Centre, the Regent Shopping Centre in Hamilton and East Kilbride Shopping Centre have complained that new shopping facilities may take away their regular customers,[16] a statement that North Lanarkshire Council leader Jim McCabe disputes.[17]

Ravenscraig todayEdit

New homes being constructed on site, January 2012

The first major development, the new Motherwell College, has been completed, and has been formally opened. The building will attract in excess of 20,000 students. The new regional sports facility has also been completed and opened on 4 October 2010.

The final part of Phase One, which is construction of houses to the north of the new town, is well underway. The housing development of Phoenix Park will eventually hold 850 new homes, some of which have been completed.[18]

Also, another important step towards full completion of the project has been met, with funding being approved for the second phase.[19][20] Phase two of the construction, which includes shopping facilities, was planned to start around mid-2012.[21]

A new dual carriageway that would link the new town with the M8 and M74 motorways has been given approval,[22][23] with an extra £10 million to bring the project forward agreed in June 2012.[24] The new carriageway would also travel through neighboring North Lanarkshire settlements, Motherwell and Carfin.[17]

In September 2012, the first building of a new BRE Innovation Park was opened, with the visitor centre building officially completed.[25] A total of ten energy-efficient buildings were expected to be built in the park.[26][27]

On 14 November 2012, plans were also un-veiled to build a new Marston's pub-restaurant directly to the north-east of the Sports Facility. Despite favorable first impressions, the proposal did not receive planning permission at the time.[28]

Progress slowed on the development due to adverse economic factors,[29] and a revised masterplan was submitted in 2018,[30] being approved the following year.[31][32] The planning report, which differed from the earlier master vision with the amount of retail space reduced by around 60% and no short term prospect for a new railway station, anticipated that progress would be slow but steady across the site, not being completed until around 2045.[1]


The main road in Ravenscraig

As part of the regeneration, the transport links to Ravenscraig will be greatly improved. There will be a new transport interchange within walking distance of the new town centre offering bus services to Glasgow and Lanark. There will be easy access to public transport throughout the site including dedicated business routes. There will also be a new railway station built that will link to the broader public transport network. The Argyle Line travels through the area, so trains could easily travel to major Scottish railway stations such as Glasgow Central from Ravenscraig.

In future, the Greenlink Cycle Path may be extended to connect Ravenscraig with a direct route to Strathclyde Country Park.[33]

Motherwell FCEdit

The local professional football team, Motherwell Football Club is one of the possible purchasers of the site for a new stadium, leaving behind their home of 113 years, Fir Park. In 2008, Mark McGhee, then-manager of the club, had said that he and the directors held tentative discussions with North Lanarkshire Council about building the new stadium on the site.[34][35][36] Despite indications that the move may be in procress of becoming a reality,[37][38] a move to Ravenscraig in the short-term would be impossible.[39]

Location GridEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Revised Ravenscraig Masterplan, Cooper Cromar architects, 14 September 2018
  2. ^ "Mid-2016 Population Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland". National Records of Scotland. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  3. ^ The Company and Its Allied Concerns – Colville's Magazine, 1920
  4. ^ Campbell, R. H. (1958). Iron and Steel. Chapter 5, In: Cunnison, J. and Gilfillan, J. B. S. (Editors) (1958). The Third Statistical Account of Scotland, Volume V, The City of Glasgow. Glasgow: William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd.
  5. ^ Ravenscraig Steel Works History 1954–1992
  6. ^ Stratton, Michael and Trinder, Barry (2000). Twentieth Century Industrial Archaeology. London: E & FN Spon. ISBN 0-419-24680-0.
  7. ^ "Scottish Government – (Henry McLeish backs plans for Ravenscraig Regeneration)". The Scottish Government. 26 January 2000. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  8. ^ "Land Regeneration Network – Nov-2005 » Apr-2006" (PDF). GRC Engineering. Retrieved 25 September 2012.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Steel site forges new future". BBC News. 27 June 2001. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  10. ^ "Ravenscraig project starts". BBC News. 15 December 2006. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  11. ^ "Developing homes at Ravenscraig". Motherwell Times. 17 December 2008. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  12. ^ "New Year start for sports facility". Motherwell Times. 17 December 2008. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  13. ^ "Ravenscraig – Natural Heritage". Ravenscraig.co.uk. Archived from the original on 26 February 2012. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  14. ^ Ravenscraig sport hub boasts one building under 43 roofs, Urban Realm, 22 June 2010
  15. ^ "Scottish Government – (£29m for Ravenscraig sports complex)". The Scottish Government. 30 October 2007. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  16. ^ "BBC News – Controversy over steelworks plan". BBC News. 2 January 2004. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  17. ^ a b "Ravenscraig regeneration aimed at boosting economy". STV Local. 27 June 2004. Archived from the original on 18 April 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  18. ^ "First Residents move into Ravenscraig project". Wishaw Press. 29 December 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  19. ^ "Rise of the 'Craig". Evening Times. 24 September 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  20. ^ Ravenscraig announce second phase expansion plans, Urban Realm, 24 September 2010
  21. ^ "The start date for Ravenscraig Town Centre". Motherwell Times. 14 July 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  22. ^ "Scottish Government approves council's £73m business plan". North Lanarkshire Council. 19 January 2012. Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  23. ^ £10m Ravenscraig motorway link approved, Urban Realm, 27 June 2012
  24. ^ "Ravenscraig project to progress with £10m for M8 link". BBC News. 27 June 2012. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  25. ^ Kraft dust off BRE Ravenscraig Research Centre, Urban Realm, 7 September 2012
  26. ^ "Alex Neil MSP opens BRE Innovation Park@ Ravenscraig". BRE Group. 5 September 2012. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  27. ^ Resource Efficient House launched at BRE Innovation Park, Urban Realm, 10 September 2013
  28. ^ "Marston's to spend £3m on new Ravenscraig pub and create 45 jobs". Wishaw Press. 14 November 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  29. ^ Revised Ravenscraig masterplan on the way as original vision stalls, Urban Realm, 15 October 2017
  30. ^ Approval sought for revised Ravenscraig masterplan, Urban Realm, 28 March 2018
  31. ^ New Ravenscraig masterplan approved by North Lanarkshire Council, Motherwell Times, 24 June 2019
  32. ^ 18/00463/PPP Revision of Mixed Use Development Approved under Planning Permission, North Lanarkshire Council Planning Department
  33. ^ "The Greenlink" (PDF). Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  34. ^ "Well in talks for Ravenscraig". Motherwell Times. 27 February 2008. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  35. ^ "The Manager Speaks". Fir Park Corner. 14 December 2008. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  36. ^ "Motherwell Boss – We need a new stadium". Wishaw Press. 7 January 2009. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  37. ^ "Dempster – My Fir Park pitch nightmare". Wishaw Press. 18 August 2010. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
  38. ^ "Dempster leading Well fans to a bright future". Evening Times. 16 June 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
  39. ^ "Fir Parkers 'nowhere near' a ground move". Motherwell Times. 7 September 2011. Retrieved 7 September 2011.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Ravenscraig, North Lanarkshire at Wikimedia Commons