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UK development company announces new projects creating 3,000 jobs

Edinburgh based Macdonald Estates is to submit 12 major planning applications across Scotland in 2009.

The projects will be spread over 700,000 square feet of development land in Ayr, Arbroath, Brechin, Dundee, Dumfries and Galloway, Fife, Glasgow, Gorebridge, Kirriemuir, Lochgelly, South Lanarkshire and West Lothian.

They include supermarkets, commercial development and the regeneration of brownfield sites.

'This year, our primary focus is planning applications taking at least 12 developments through to maturity by 2010 to 2012. We will invest significant sums in this process in the knowledge that demand for certain retail in key areas remains consistent,' said Dan Macdonald, chief executive of Macdonald Estates.

'Our intention is to make a sustainable and creative contribution to our built environment. Fundamental to our plans for the development of strategic land is the need to address the design and planning of urban settlements to create proper mixed development around good places in which to live and work that we can be proud of in the future,' he added.

The company suffered a 90% drop in profits last year but Macdonald said it is in a sound financial position. He said that although profits fell from £5.1 million to £0.5 million the firm was debt free, having decided to sell its entire investment portfolio in 2007 having predicted the peak of the market in 2007.

He insisted the firm was also benefiting from its decision to shift its focus from purely commercial developments to retail projects and mini towns, including community facilities. 'Market difficulties present market opportunities and we see a new era before us. We will use the current down-turn to our advantage,' he said.

Macdonald Estates is also looking at possible expansion into mainland Europe and is considering a number of opportunities in Poland. Although plans to open an office in Dublin are on hold at present.