West Lothian industrial site to be transformed into huge animal park

A bid to turn a neglected industrial area into a thriving wildlife park in the heart of Bathgate took a big step forward after plans for the project were approved.

The Bathgate Water Regeneration Project will restore the environment around the heavily degraded Bathgate Water (known locally as Bog Burn) – which runs through the heart of the city.

The region has been affected over the years by heavy industries, including mining and smithy, and truck manufacturing.

Large sections are currently also hidden from view and inaccessible to the community.

The vision of the project is to work with the local population to create a large, high-quality, accessible and wildlife-rich natural park on former industrial land, regenerating the rivers that flow through the city, creating new direct connections between Blackburn , Wester Inch and the historic downtown area and its transportation hubs.

It is hoped that this will breathe new life into the city center and provide a natural space where wildlife can thrive and people can enjoy.

The project has now been approved by the Bathgate Local Committee of West Lothian Council.

The site is located between a 144 hectare Wester Inch housing estate and the city center, and between Blackburn Road and Glasgow Road.

Funding comes from the Scottish Government’s Water Environment Fund and the Places for Everyone fund via Sustrans Scotland.

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Additional financial support is sought from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

A partnership group has been created under the RiverLife project which includes representatives from the Board, SEPA, Sustrans Scotland, Forth Rivers Trust and Green Action Trust.

The board will lead the project with partners providing financial support and expert knowledge.

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