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Contaminated Land

Contaminated Land

Scottish Local Authority Support for Investment Aid for the Remediation of Contaminated, Derelict and Brownfield Land (SC10296)

Legal Context

In terms of Section 20 of the Local Government in Scotland Act 2003, Scottish Local Authorities may provide investment aid for the remediation of contaminated, brownfield and derelict sites.

Objective of the Scheme

The objective of the scheme is, is to remediate contaminated, derelict and brownfield sites in cases where the “polluter pays” principle cannot be applied. The investments supported shall lead to the repair of the environmental damage, including damage to the quality of the soil or of surface water or groundwater.

The harmful effects of contaminated land, brownfield land and derelict land go significantly beyond their obvious impact on the physical environment. In urban areas in particular, these sites have often been left as unsightly wasteland or derelict buildings that have an environmental, economic and social detrimental effect on the surrounding area. Surrounding communities often suffer from a decline in business activity, lost employment opportunities, reduced tax revenues, as well as a tarnished community image.

Eligible Costs

The eligible costs shall be the costs incurred for the remediation work, less the increase in the value of the land. All expenditure incurred by an undertaking in remediating its site, whether or not such expenditure can be shown as a fixed asset on its balance sheet, may be considered as eligible investment in the case of the remediation of sites.

Valuations of the increase in value of the land resulting from remediation shall be carried out by an independent expert.

Aid Intensity and Thresholds

The aid intensity shall not exceed 100% of the eligible costs.

Investment aid granted under this scheme will not exceed: £17 million per undertaking per investment project;


A contaminated site is defined as “a site where there is a confirmed presence, caused by man, of hazardous substances of such a level that they pose a significant risk to human health or the environment taking into account current and approved future use of the land.”

“Brownfield” land is land which is or was occupied by a permanent structure and associated fixed surface infrastructure. Previously developed land may occur in both built-up and rural settings. The definition includes defence buildings and land used for mineral extraction and waste disposal where provision for restoration has not been made through development control procedures.

Derelict land is land that is so damaged by industrial or other development such that it is incapable of beneficial use without treatment.


The estimated budget of the scheme is £50m over 5 years.


The scheme will operate from 1st January 2021 to 31st December 2025.

(ML / June 2021)