Glasgow Harbour £1.2 billion masterplan reveals massive jobs, investment and tourism boost

16 Feb 2006

Peel Holdings, the owners of Clydeport, today unveiled a revised masterplan for Glasgow Harbour, one of the UK's largest and most prestigious regeneration projects. The £1.2 billion scheme will see the creation of a new City district on the West End waterfront, providing major benefits for the local economy and for the people of Glasgow.Glasgow Harbour model

It is estimated the development will create more than 10,000 new jobs, bringing a massive boost to an area with above-average unemployment. A training academy will be established in partnership with community agencies and local educational institutes, providing life skills and job training to help secure full-time employment for local residents.

Glasgow Harbour was granted outline planning consent in 2001 for a mixed use development scheme.  Peel Holdings has since re-evaluated the extent and mixture of uses for the land to propose a more dynamic scheme that would see Glasgow become a national waterside tourist destination, rivalling cities such as Sydney.

More than 30 hectares of the original 52 hectare masterplan have been redesigned in order to provide an outstanding waterside retail, leisure, commercial and residential destination. The revised masterplan proposals are for the central and eastern sections of the Glasgow Harbour site at Castlebank and Yorkhill and follow the broad uses in the approved masterplan but on a much more exciting scale.

The confluence of the River Clyde and River Kelvin will now act as a focal point for the whole scheme and this spectacular setting will see architectural design and public realm works of the highest quality.

The waterfront development involves the regeneration of a significant and run- down part of Glasgow and will breathe new life into a large swathe of derelict and underused land. The revised masterplan will bring huge benefits to the city, attracting more than two million extra visitors per year to the new district and surrounding areas.

Scott Taylor, chief executive of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said:

"The success of the 'Glasgow: Scotland with Style' branding campaign has catapulted the city onto the worldwide stage. Not only has Glasgow been voted the UK's best city break destination outside London, it has also been named one of the world's top 10 'must see' destinations by Frommer's travel guide.

"Of the three million UK visitors and 400,000 overseas visitors to the city each year, 60% stated the main reason for visiting was for shopping. Retail tourism is a key driver for economic growth, with tourism expenditure in the city centre estimated at over £700 million per annum.

"It is paramount that we continue to invest in this growing sector with high-quality developments like Glasgow Harbour, which will play an important role in reinforcing the city's reputation on both a national and international scale."

Changes to the UK's gambling laws have created the possibility of a "Regional Casino" of international stature, and Glasgow Harbour has all the ingredients to ensure success, not just for Glasgow but for Scotland. The inclusion of such a facility will redefine the role of Glasgow Harbour and significantly enhance its wider role in the Glasgow and Scottish economy, delivering further regeneration benefits, physically, socially and economically in this part of the city.

Highlights of the new scheme that would see the development of an additional 79,500 sq.m. (855,000 sq.ft.) include:

  • A world-class "Regional Casino" operated by MGM MIRAGE offering a combination of sporting, gaming and entertainment facilities, including; 
         - a central entertainment venue, a sports pub and restaurant
         - three international standard signature restaurants
         - a food court, coffee bar and delicatessen area
         - a 200-bed 5-star hotel with spectacular views of the Clyde from all bedrooms
  • 27,400 sq.m. (295,000 sq.ft.) of additional retail space within a two-tier shopping district that will put Glasgow Harbour on the map as well as bring additional shoppers to Glasgow's West End.
  • A 30 storey residential tower on a quayside restaurant plinth. The location of the approved tower has been moved closer to the confluence of the Rivers Kelvin and Clyde where it will provide a counterpoint and foil to the museum.
  • A landscaped river boulevard and new pedestrian links to Partick.Riverside Museum
  • The landmark Riverside Museum will be some 2,998 sq m larger than what was included in the approved masterplan. Located at the junction of the River Clyde and River Kelvin it will be a major cultural centre, distinctively designed by Zaha Hadid and fronting onto a public square. The museum will form the central focus to this waterfront destination, and the surrounding development will enhance its setting while providing compatible uses that will increase visitor numbers.
  • Family leisure area - including "children's world" education and learning centre, a 10-screen cinema complex and family entertainment centre.
  • Public open spaces, including unparalleled access to the riverside for the first time in more than 100 years.  The revised masterplan will see the creation of "Glasgow Harbour Square," the central focus which will be linked by a pedestrian footbridge to an "Events Square" which provides the entrance and exhibition piazza to the Riverside Museum, and north to "Entrance Square" from Partick. "Entrance Square" will provide a fitting setting for the listed building Scotway House.

The details for the new Glasgow Harbour drawing scheme were revealed following the submission of an outline planning application to Glasgow City Council.

Lindsey Ashworth, development director of Peel Holdings and director of Clydeport, said: "This development will create a vibrant new quarter for the people of Glasgow to enjoy, with many new jobs, homes, business opportunities and leisure facilities in a spectacular waterfront setting.

"At Peel Holdings we have a proven track record of world-class, award-winning regeneration projects, with particular expertise in waterfront sites. We look forward to delivering a scheme of national and international importance and making Glasgow Harbour an exciting place to live, work and relax."

The revised masterplan will build upon the impressive progress made since the approval of the original proposals in June 2001. A great deal has already been achieved in addition to the initial residential development, including the start of major road works and infrastructure improvements. The £25m package of road works and transport improvements, which focus on the Clydeside Expressway, will radically improve the road network for both the local communities and road users throughout the city. 

The first phase of the transport programme is due to be completed in September this year and will also strengthen the pedestrian, cyclist and vehicle access to Glasgow Harbour, creating stronger links between the communities of Glasgow Harbour, Partick and the West End.

Tom Allison, Chief Executive of Peel Ports, said: "It's no exaggeration to say that Glasgow Harbour is the most pivotal development seen in the city for decades. It has the scope and ambition to be truly transformational for Glasgow.

"We said from the start that the development lifespan of such a significant project would inevitably see further changes. This project has evolved and improved considerably since we first started work on the concept behind Glasgow Harbour.

"A tremendous amount of painstaking work has gone into the new masterplan, which now fully reflects the unrivalled pedigree which Peel Holdings brings to the project. Nowadays, the description 'world-class' is much-abused: these proposals undoubtedly justify it. 

"I and the team are hugely excited by the unique opportunity the new Glasgow Harbour masterplan brings to the city, its people and its economy.

"Glasgow is a city which deserves the best - it deserves Glasgow Harbour."

Glasgow Chamber of Commerce chief executive Dr Lesley Sawers, said: "The planned new development at Glasgow Harbour builds on the impressive waterfront regeneration that is already underway. 

"Its considerable investment in the Clydeside Expressway, Riverside Museum and a new five-star hotel is tremendous news for Glasgow and it is important that any proposed retail and leisure development complements and enhances the existing city centre. Retail is vital to Glasgow's economy, worth a massive £2.4bn a year and employing over 30,000 people."



1. Glasgow Harbour Limited - the company which owns and develops the Glasgow Harbour development - is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Clydeport Ltd, and part of the Peel Group. 
Peel is one of the leading property and transport organisations in the UK, with assets valued at over £4 billion. In the North West of England it owns The Trafford Centre, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, Mersey Docks and Harbour Company and The Manchester Ship Canal.
Elsewhere, its assets include the ports of Clydeport and the Medway plus Robin Hood Airport, Doncaster Sheffield and Durham Tees Valley Airport

2. Glasgow Harbour has received funding by the European Union, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). 

ERDF was set up in 1975 to stimulate economic development in the least prosperous regions of the European Union. As EU membership has grown, ERDF has developed into a major instrument for helping to redress regional imbalances.  ERDF is aimed at economic regeneration projects promoted primarily by the public sector. But this does not exclude the private sector, which promotes and helps to fund high quality projects that meet ERDF objectives. These include economic development and regeneration, enhancing and developing skills and contributing to sustainable development. Private sector companies are encouraged to present applications in partnership with a public sector body.
For further information please contact:

Alison Tennant, PR Manager, Peel Holdings
Tel. 0161 629 8229 / 07901 883388

Alex Barr, Big Partnership
Tel. 0141 333 9585 / 07962 135 467

  • Artists impression of Glasgow Harbour