New retail, office and leisure developments will be built in an area to the east of the town, adjacent to the new Forth Valley College and Falkirk Stadium. A total of nine initial expressions of interest were received with a final two developers invited to put more detailed plans forward for a final selection by an assessment panel. Further work on a ‘heads of terms’ agreement as well as a more detailed retail impact study will now take place. Initial plans put forward by the preferred developer, Hargreaves Property Ventures, retail units, office space, leisure facilities, a hotel site and food and drink venues. Falkirk Council is using the Tax Incremental Finance (TIF) scheme to fund road infrastructure and enabling works, which has helped attract the current developer interest in the site. The TIF anticipates £67m of investment by the council, levering a total of £176m in infrastructure improvements including improved links to the M9 motorway and Grangemouth Flood Prevention Scheme. This is anticipated to attract investment of over £400m and the completion of about 400,000m2 of business space. Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, leader of Falkirk Council, said: “Our plans to completely redevelop this area are making great progress and with the appointment of the developer, we are a significant step closer to creating new opportunities for the local economy and jobs”. “The creation of an ‘urban quarter’ at the Westfield/Middlefield site will transform the vacant area (lying between Falkirk and Grangemouth) and bring the 30-acre site into a location that will help promote economic growth. The capital receipts from the site will be ring-fenced to aid the revitalisation of town centres”. Keith Aitken of Avison Young, who represented Falkirk Council, said: “Falkirk Gateway is a significant development opportunity for Falkirk and the wider Central Scotland region. It benefits from excellent transport links and proximity to the Helix & The Kelpies, Falkirk Stadium and the town centre. The proposals for the site will act as la further catalyst for economic growth and will prove to be a complimentary neighbour to the new Forth Valley College”.