Glasgow outlines its £400million City Deal regeneration projects

The council’s Regeneration and the Economy Committee considered the six draft strategic business cases developed for these Glasgow projects, which include regeneration work in the city centre; Sighthill and the canal area; in Collegelands, Calton and the Barras; on the Clyde waterfront and the West End; supporting growing businesses; and the Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Partnership activities across the city.  

Key City Deal projects in Glasgow over the next decade include the creation of a bridge connecting Partick and Govan; new public realm works throughout the city centre; new pedestrian and traffic bridges in Sighthill; the development of the former meat market site at Bellgrove; incubator growth space in the Merchant City for young, high-growth companies; and a new drainage scheme at the canal to enable further investment and development there.

Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “These tremendously exciting City Deal projects will help to transform Glasgow and its economy, bringing thousands of job during and after the construction periods and taking the city to the next economic level.  These projects will help to tackle long-term economic issues and build a platform for future prosperity.”

The following is a summary of the work to take place in each of these projects:

City Centre (project budget £115.5million): the UK’s second most important centre in both retail and finance (behind London’s West End and the City) has 150,000 jobs, 40,000 students, attracts 100,000 commuters every weekday, has a population of 28,000 and generates over a third of Glasgow’s GDP.  Glasgow City Council’s City Centre Strategy aims to ensure the area retains and builds on this position by promoting opportunities for growth and investment, and the City Deal will deliver enabling infrastructure to capitalise on these opportunities.  This will come in the form of work to improve the public realm at Argyle Street (East and West); Cathedral Street; George Street; Central Station; King Street; North Hanover Street; Sauchiehall Street; and West Nile Street, including the resurfacing of streets and pavements; ‘smart’ infrastructure such as surface water management systems and adaptable lighting systems; the creation of avenues of trees; segregated cycle lanes; underground facilities and reductions in vehicle traffic.

Clyde Waterfront and West End Innovation Quarter (project budget £113.9million): this area has fantastic assets, such as the New South Glasgow Hospitals Campus, Glasgow University, Pacific Quay and the West End itself, but has suffered from the decline of industry, and would benefit from better travel connections.  The key objectives for this project are the unlocking of development potential of vacant and derelict sites for employment and housing; to enhance clustering and stimulate growth in the Life Science and Higher Education sectors and maximise the benefits of existing high value industries; and spread the benefits of City Deal investment to tackle multiple deprivation, particularly in Govan.  The project will deliver a new bridge connecting Govan (at Water Row) and Partick; a new pedestrian cycle route between the New South Glasgow Hospitals Campus, Govan, Pacific Quay and the city centre; a new South Bank pedestrian route between Cessnock Underground and Pacific Quay; a new North Bank cycle and pedestrian route connecting Glasgow University and the West End with Govan, Glasgow Harbour, the SECC, the Partick-Govan Bridge and the city centre; and public realm improvements at Govan Cross, Byres Road, Church Street and University Avenue.

Canal and North Gateway (project budget £83.7million): this area’s strategic location as a gateway to North Glasgow offers great potential to capitalise on its assets, including knowledge-based industries on the north side of the city centre, the Sighthill Transformational Regeneration Area project, a growing cultural industries cluster, new leisure and recreation facilities and a number of vacant development opportunity sites.  The area does face significant infrastructural challenges, particularly in terms of poor connections to the city centre and neighbouring communities, and to meet these challenges and be in a position to take advantage of opportunities for this part of Glasgow, City Deal funding will deliver improved access to the cultural and creative hub at Spiers Lock and Port Dundas, including enhanced public realm; improve access and remediation at Cowlairs; the remediation of land and creation of services and circulation roads at Sighthill; and help fund the building of a new pedestrian and a new traffic bridge in Sighthill. 

Collegelands Calton Barras (project budget £27million): the location of this area, immediately to the east of Glasgow city centre and adjacent to major economic drivers and projects such as the University of Strathclyde, the Merchant City and Clyde Gateway.  The challenges facing the area include poor connectivity, poor environmental quality and deprivation.  City Deal funding objectives for this project include the unlocking of the area’s development potential and enable the continuation of economic activity from the city centre to the East End and progressing the existing Calton Barras Action Plan by improving infrastructure, quality of land and travel connections.  The specific activities proposed for this project include improved access to High Street railway station; upgrading the streets linking Gallowgate and Duke Street; enable the further development of the Collegelands site to include a hotel, more office space and leisure facilities; a new foot bridge proving a key link between Duke Street and Armour Street; and the remediation of land at the former meat market site at Bellgrove to create an attractive development site close to the city centre. 

Supporting Growing Businesses (project budget £1.67million): this programme will deliver a co-ordinated support service for high-growth companies in the enabling technology, advanced design and manufacturing, and creative economy sectors, with between 5 – 20 employees.  The Tontine Building at Glasgow Cross will host high-quality and flexible workspaces for these companies, with a focus on those sectors which link with Strathclyde University – to maximise the cross-fertilisation between growing companies in the city and the major multi-nationals and research programmes situated close by.

Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Partnership (project budget £45.8million): the MGSDP was formed to tackle the deficiencies in Glasgow’s drainage infrastructure identified after the 2002 floods, and its work to tackle these deficiencies, minimising the social, economic and environmental impact of flooding on homes and businesses, as well as removing constraints on investment and regeneration, has attracted national and international interest.  The City Deal business case for this proposes 14 schemes across the city, including modifying the Forth & Glasgow Clyde Canal to allow the canal to provide the drainage solution for neighbouring key regeneration sites including Hamiltonhill, Port Dundas and Cowlairs; and surface water management plans in Drumchapel, Springburn, Knightswood, Croftfoot, King’s Park, Garrowhill, Ballieston, Cardonald, Darnley Mains and at Aikenhead road / Overwood Drive.

The strategic business cases will in due course be presented to the council’s Executive Committee where approval will release almost £400million of funding.

The City Deal will bring tens of thousands of jobs to Glasgow and the Clyde Valley over the next few decades through 20 major infrastructure projects; drive innovation and growth through the support of key sectors such as life sciences; and address challenges in the region’s labour market.  

The business cases for each of the City Deal projects specific to Glasgow were developed to meet particular needs: for example, the Clyde waterfront business case responded to the strategic need for a capital investment strategy that will unlock the full potential of the Clydeside in attracting new homes and high value added industries to this part of the city.

Both the UK and Scottish Governments will give the Glasgow and Clyde Valley local authorities £500million in grant funding for the City Deal, and the local authorities will borrow a further £130million to use for capital investment.

The City Deal is expected to give Glasgow and Clyde Valley a permanent uplift in its GVA of £2.2billion per annum (4.4%); generate 15,000 construction jobs during the construction period and 28,000 permanent additional jobs once construction is complete; and will unlock £3.3billion of private sector investment.

The eight local authorities participating in the Glasgow and Clyde Valley City Deal are: East Dunbartonshire Council; East Renfrewshire Council; Glasgow City Council; Inverclyde Council; North Lanarkshire Council; Renfrewshire Council; South Lanarkshire Council and West Dunbartonshire Council.

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