MILLIONAIRE businesswoman Ann Gloag is backing plans to build a new village on the site of the former Hall’s of Broxburn factory.
The co-founder of the Stagecoach bus company is involved in the proposals for a community hub with houses, shops, a restaurant and offices, which are expected to create around 200 jobs.
The Hall’s factory, which made sausages, haggis and black pudding, was once the main employer in the West Lothian town, but was closed by Dutch owners Vion last February with the loss of 1700 jobs. Bulldozers finished demolishing the plant earlier this week.
Also involved in the latest plans for the site is former Hall’s owner Fred Duncan, who sold Grampian Country Food Group to Vion for an estimated £350 million in 2008.
He and Mrs Gloag are now directors of Broxburn Regeneration Ltd, which has already launched community talks on the scheme and has asked for ideas from residents for the 18-acre site.
Broxburn councillor Janet Campbell said reassurances had been sought that the plans would include affordable housing and a community centre.
She said: “We have also asked for units that can be used for small to medium-sized businesses.
“It wasn’t part of the local plan and certainly happened very quickly. At the end of the day, we don’t want a big gap site in Broxburn for a long time.
“But certainly we would also want to see social housing and opportunities for well-paid jobs.”
Tom Roy, chairman of Broxburn Community Council, said those behind the proposals were due to explain their plans at a meeting next week.
He said: “It has to be positive for the area. We are in a very good position here on the corridor to the airport. A hotel would also be good for here.
“They have been asking us what we want there. We will make sure it is right for the area.”
Broxburn Regeneration confirmed it has agreed to buy the site from Vion and would take over once the site has been cleared.
The Government said it was ready to engage with the developer on their future plans.