PLANS to demolish 12 high-rise blocks in Cumbernauld have been boosted after the Scottish Government stumped up £3.2 million to buy out the owners.
Housing association Sanctuary Cumbernauld is behind the £70m project to demolish the 1960s high-rises and replace them with 440 modern homes for affordable rent.
Last year, 72% of the high-rise residents voted in favour of the plans to raze the ageing buildings.
The final stumbling block was finding the money to buy out the 100 people who still own their homes in the blocks.
The housing association currently owns 215 of the 566 flats in the 12 blocks.
More than 100 private owners have already indicated a willingness to voluntarily sell their home to Sanctuary.
The Scottish Government grant will allow Sanctuary to buy the flats by the end of March.
Peter Martin, Sanctuary's director of development, said: "This funding is an important milestone in progressing the high-rise regeneration project.
"This grant allows us to buy out around 100 private owners keen to exit the blocks, but on whose flats no bank will offer a mortgage.
"The vast majority of high-rise residents support our plans which – if approved by the local planning authority – will give a £70m-plus shot-in-the-arm to the local economy, sustain jobs in construction and create new jobs, apprenticeships and training opportunities for the local community."
Jamie Hepburn, MSP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, has offered to help any residents who are unsure about the process.
He said: "I am aware that the project has not gone unopposed.
"Indeed, I have provided what assistance I can to constituents with concerns about the project.
"If I can be of any assistance to any resident of the flats in relation to this, or any other matter, they need only just get in touch."