February 2020 – Director’s Blog
It’s been another busy month at Glasgow City Region.
We had the Gateway Review Challenge session recently with our government partners – an opportunity to discuss our submission, review how the partnership is working and to look towards the next five years. I’m pleased to say the session went well and we look forward to hearing back in the coming month about the release of the next tranche of £250 million in funding.
Last week we had our first Glasgow City Region Cabinet of the year.
The busy agenda included an overview of progress being made by our Regional Intelligence Hub and the first of a series of updates from the Leaders of our partner councils on work underway across the eight Portfolios.
You can find out about progress underway to support Skills and Employment in the Blog by the Leader of South Lanarkshire Council, Councillor Ross, who leads on this area.
The Intelligence Hub has been in place since last July and provides research, analysis, evaluation and reporting for the City Region on a range of economic matters. Work being delivered by the Hub is providing the evidence base for future policy and investment decisions across the Region. For example, analysis carried out supported the recently announced Clyde Mission initiative – an exciting Regional project which focus on drawing further investment and employment to key locations along the River Clyde.
A further update on the Clyde initiative is anticipated at the April Cabinet.
On a related subject, I was delighted to note the recent fDi intelligence report ranking Glasgow as the top large city in Europe for foreign direct investment.
We continue to make good progress in our City Deal projects. In fact, over £200 million of spend has been approved so far – quite a milestone. And it is worth saying again that we are delivering projects at pace – with sixteen projects or sub projects now completed. We are the most advanced City Deal in the UK.
This month the final design for the pedestrian bridge that will connect Govan and Partick was unveiled. The bridge will span between Water Row in Govan and Pointhouse Quay at the Riverside Museum and will open to accommodate the movement of large vessels on the river.
The bridge forms part of the £114 million City Deal funded Waterfront and West End Innovation Quarter project. The project area extends west from Custom House Quay along the river corridor through Govan to the area around the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) and extends to the north to include the University of Glasgow campus.
Once complete, the bridge will form part of a high quality active travel route between communities, academic institutions, businesses and visitor attractions on both banks of the river. It is already acting as a catalyst for development with the University of Glasgow exploring the creation of a new Waterfront Innovation Campus on vacant and derelict land to the north QEUH, as well as the Glasgow Riverside Innovation District on both banks of the Clyde.
Construction is expected to begin next year and following that is it set to be open to the public in 2022.
Finally, there has been quite a bit of media coverage recently on our progress including a feature in the latest Municipal Journal. Follow us on twitter to keep up to date on these and on our ongoing progress.
Kevin Rush is Director of Regional Economic Growth at Glasgow City Region
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