Taking off in style

31 Dec 2007

Ian Lundy, Evening Times

It's been all change for the River Clyde in 2007 with new landmarks springing up along its banks. Planning bosses today described this year's regeneration work as "phenomenal" - and vowed the transformation would continue in 2008.

With more than 200 projects stretching from the heart of Glasgow to the Erskine Bridge, the Clyde's rejuvenation is recognised as the largest urban renewal project in the UK.

Clyde Waterfront, the body which oversees the development of the area, said: "During 2007 one exciting milestone after another was reached."

Stuart Patrick, of Clyde Waterfront, said: "This year has seen significant progress in transforming the vision of a reinvigorated River Clyde and its communities into reality along the banks of the river.

"There has been a stream of planning approvals that will drive the development of the economy, provide opportunity for people and businesses and enhance the environment.

"Some projects have already come to fruition including the opening of Clydebank College and the launching of the Titan Crane as a visitor attraction.

"Others such as the Digital Media Quarter with the arrival of the BBC and SMG, the International Financial Services District and the expansion of the SECC continue to flourish.

"However, there is still much to achieve in revitalising the river to create a world-class location where people, communities and business can achieve their full potential."

He said one of the most exciting developments of the year was Glasgow's success in winning the Commonwealth games 2014, which he said would have "massive repercussions".

Other highlights along the Clyde this year included:

  • The International Financial Services District attracted 1million sq ft of office accommodation, 13,700 new jobs and £750m of investment.
  • More than 1400 houses were built at the Glasgow Harbour development and a further 2000 are under way at the massive Ferry Village near Braehead.
  • Clydebank College moved in August to its new campus. Next to the college are business units and housing.
  • The first turf was cut at the city's new Riverside Museum being built at the mouth of the River Kelvin. It will be completed in 2011.
  • Work started in the Tradeston district where rundown buildings and derelict land will be transformed into modern office and apartment complexes with a new footbridge linking it to the Broomielaw.
  • A new seaplane service taking passengers between the Clyde and the Western Isles started operating from a pontoon near Glasgow's Science Centre.
  • The Titan Crane, which was formerly part of the John Brown shipyard in Clydebank, opened as a new tourist attraction complete with a lift so visitors can enjoy panoramic views.
  • Major steps have been taken towards the goal of 3000 new hotel beds in the city by 2014. Two new hotels are being built, 10 more are at the planning stage and two existing hotels are being refurbished.
  • The Digital Media Quarter at Pacific Quay buzzes with new developments. Both BBC and STV are in new accommodation and the nearby Medius building should be complete soon.
  • Plans are well advanced for Fastlink, the tram-style bus service which will link the city centre, the SECC and Glasgow Harbour.

And all this development came on top of the Clyde's most stunning new landmark - the Squinty Bridge which opened in late 2006.

Reproduced with kind permission.  © Newsquest (Herald & Times) Ltd.

  • Loch Lomond seaplane coming in to land

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