North Canal Bank revamp for Clydebank

10 Jul 2008

A major £2 million programme of environmental works - just completed - on the north bank of the Forth & Clyde Canal at the Clyde Shopping Centre will make Clydebank a "more welcoming place for shoppers, visitors and the growing number of canal users".

"This is another chapter in the regeneration of the town", said West Dunbartonshire Provost Denis Agnew, unveiling a plaque to mark the completion of the works on 20th June. "And the new landscaping, new seating and special features celebrating the history and heritage of the town gives a new focus to the canal and the town centre.

"Clydebank is unique with the Forth & Clyde canal running through the centre of the town and a fantastic waterfront on the Clyde, both of which are key to the town's regeneration", added the Provost.

Shoppers are now able to cross Sylvania Way with its stunning new "swan in flight" canal bridge canopy, designed by Glasgow architect Neil McLean of RMJM, following a national design competition last year.  It has been constructed by Yoker-based specialist fabricators, Gray & Dick Ltd.

The environmental works includes new landscaping with trees, new imaginative seating, new lighting and an events space for recreational activities.  Lyrics from a song "A Bankie Lad" by Iain Ingram have been inscribed in the paving.    Additionally, a series of artworks are being commissioned by the council for positioning along the canal bank.

Two new black granite heated benches - called the "Bankie Benches" - have been installed near the Shopping Centre.  One bench is dedicated to the famous Singer Clock and the other features the giant Clydebank goldfish that once lived in the canal.

A novel feature is the "memory line", set in blue glazed bricks and granite along the canal side near to Mcmonagles Fish Restaurant.  It tells the story of the town's proud past of over the last 240 years, from the canal's construction in 1768.   It highlights the town's biggest industries last century - shipbuilding at John Brown's and the manufacture of sewing machines at Singers.

There are also new mooring facilities for boats using the canal and a new slipway for canoes and model boats.

"These major landscape improvements and features, including the stylish  "swan" bridge canopy and the memory line,  have created  a new civic atmosphere at the shopping centre at the heart of Clydebank",  says John McFall MP, chair of Clydebank Re-built, the award-winning urban regeneration company for the town which is behind the north bank project.

"This will make the centre of the town a more accessible and a more welcoming place for shoppers, visitors, and the growing number of canal users and cyclists using the canal towpath.

"Clydebank Re-built has worked closely with our funding partners and the local community in our regeneration plans.  Many of the ideas, including the bankie benches and the memory line, were suggested in our design forums with local people and through our work with schools" added Mr McFall.

All Clydebank's schools have been involved in the canal project, with class projects about the canal over the last two years.   Several schools took part in the first winter light festivals on the canal bank last year and this year.

The north bank canal regeneration and environmental project was managed by Clydebank Re-built  with funding from the Scottish Government and West Dunbartonshire Council through the Cities Growth Fund, Europe through Urban 11 Grant, British Waterways Scotland, and Co-operative Insurance Services (CIS).

Clydebank Re-built is now will into the second half of its imaginative seven-year plan 2003- 2010  to reposition Clydebank, as a "creative, distinctive and successful regional centre" within the Glasgow metropolitan area.  A total budget of just under £50 million is in place from the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, West Dunbartonshire Council and Europe to lever in private investment in the long term.

Last year, Clydebank's regeneration took big step forward with the opening of Queens Quays - the former John Brown's shipyards site on the River Clyde -with its first projects, the new Clydebank College, a business centre for start up and small businesses and the restoration of the Titan Crane as a visitor attraction.


  • The north canal bank complete

Project details
  • North canal bank project