Riverside Inverclyde

‘Pioneering’ Inverclyde food and drink incubator receives planning consent

Riverside Inverclyde Property Holdings, the organisation charged with delivering the economic redevelopment of  Inverclyde in the west of Scotland, has been given planning permission by Inverclyde Council for a new food and drink incubator in Greenock.

The incubator and its other areas of support for businesses will be the first of its kind in Scotland, assisting Inverclyde’s growth in the food and drink sector as Scotland aims to double its turnover to £30 billion by 2030.

Baker Street Food & Drink Enterprises will be built on land recently cleared at the corner of Greenock’s Baker Street and Drumfrochar Road, and is part of a wider £3.5 million project including a road re-alignment being delivered by Riverside Inverclyde for Inverclyde Council.

Baker Street will see the development of six manufacturing units ranging from 45 to 95 square metres. Aimed at enticing the growth of small and medium sized food and drink businesses, the building will also include shared office space, storage unit, research and board room facilities for its tenants as well as shower and change areas.

The incubator will aim also to facilitate growth for the businesses based at Baker Street, with the expectation that they will expand in a sustainable manner before moving onto larger premises in Inverclyde, allowing a constant flow of new firms to move in.

Riverside Inverclyde will also provide a business growth programme to support the businesses, as well as potential match-funding support for machinery and equipment. All of this is aimed at assisting with the transition into Baker Street alongside support towards achieving Safe And Local Supplier Approval (SALSA) standard accreditation for the units.

Fiona Maguire, chief executive of Riverside Inverclyde, said: “We have already seen interest in the incubator from businesses and expect to see further demand as the project develops. Alongside the road realignment project, this popular and busy corner of Greenock will have a completely new feel and flow and we look forward to getting started with this project.”

Councillor Michael McCormick, Inverclyde Council’s environment and regeneration convener, said: “The food and drink sector in Inverclyde has the potential to be an area of real growth and opportunity. Baker Street will play a key part in this and we look forward to seeing the completed incubator hub.”

Dr Gerry McCarthy, chair of Riverside Inverclyde, added: “This incubator offers Inverclyde some exciting opportunities, not least to grow the number of local producers but hopefully to see some of the early companies grow to be success stories and offer employment opportunities.”

The development is due to begin this summer with a completion date of early 2019. The Baker Street incubator is being support by £900,000 from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF).

Riverside Inverclyde marks decade of regeneration efforts with opening of 200-year-old Custom House

(from left) Martin Brennan, Provost of Inverclyde; Fiona Maguire, chief executive of Riverside Inverclyde; and Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Renfrewshire, Mr Guy Clark

(from left) Martin Brennan, Provost of Inverclyde; Fiona Maguire, chief executive of Riverside Inverclyde; and Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Renfrewshire, Mr Guy Clark

Riverside Inverclyde, the organisation charged with the economic regeneration of Inverclyde, celebrated not only the completion of the refurbishment of Greenock’s Custom House, but also its own 10-year anniversary at a ceremony held at the lovingly restored building.

Martin Brennan, Provost of Inverclyde formally re-opened the 200-year-old Georgian building and unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion

He said: “The upgrading of this building, ably delivered by the team at Riverside Inverclyde, has helped to preserve this landmark for the current and future generations.”

Also present was Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Renfrewshire, Mr Guy Clark, Fiona Maguire, chief executive of Riverside Inverclyde and project architect, Tom Connelly of Elder & Cannon.

Restoration of the Custom House has been a six-year £6 million project for Riverside Inverclyde. And while the Custom House is the jewel in the crown, the organisation has been the driving force behind much of the Inverclyde’s recent renaissance, including the Riverside Business Park, which employs 600 staff, the creation of James Watt Dock Marina and water-and-wind-proofing of the Sugar Warehouse, designed by Walter R Kinipple, and completed in 1886.

RI_Custom House official launch_3nov17_RI team_small versionMs Maguire said: “It has been a stellar decade of achievements for Riverside Inverclyde, almost too many to list. Being able to cap the 10 years with the completion of this iconic piece of Greenock history is magnificent.

“We are not resting on our laurels, though; we have a number of projects currently in the pipeline, including Baker Street, a dedicated Food and Drink Incubator Hub in Greenock, and the development of a new spur road into Port Glasgow Town Centre.”

RI_Custom House official launch_3nov17_Provost_small versionOver the past decade, the organisation has obtained more than £73m direct investment in Inverclyde, from a variety of sources. These include modern business centres in Gourock (Municipal Buildings), Greenock (Victoria House), and Port Glasgow (Scarlow House).

In addition to developments and restorations, Riverside Inverclyde has setup networks of local construction companies and community hubs, such as the Local Construction Forum, the Regeneration Forums as well as delivery of the Community Benefits Programme, which provides the benchmark to maximise opportunities for local people.

Architect and regeneration chief to head Inverclyde Council

Aubrey Fawcett

Aubrey Fawcett

Inverclyde Council has appointed Aubrey Fawcett as its new chief executive to replace John Mundell OBE who is set to retire from the council in September.

A qualified architect, Aubrey is currently corporate director for environment, regeneration and resources at Inverclyde Council and is chief executive of urban regeneration company Riverside Inverclyde.

Inverclyde Council leader, Councillor Stephen McCabe, said: “Aubrey knows Inverclyde like the back of his hand. He is more than qualified to take on the role of chief executive and has a proven track record of delivering for Inverclyde Council and for Riverside Inverclyde.

“Among his many achievements has been galvanising the team at Riverside Inverclyde and he has been at the forefront of bringing the Glasgow City Region City Deal investment to Inverclyde.

“Local government is going through tough times and increasing financial and service pressure. A strong chief executive with a pedigree of delivering for public services will give Inverclyde the resilience it needs. The task for Aubrey in the coming years is to weather the stormy times ahead and to seize every opportunity to make sure that public services in Inverclyde continue to deliver excellence for the people who matter, our residents.

“I would like to thank the candidates who applied for this position in the previous and latest round of recruitment. It is clear that there is a great deal of talent in public services not just in Scotland but also in the rest of the UK.”

Aubrey Fawcett, said: “I am delighted to be appointed chief executive of Inverclyde Council.  While it has taken two attempts at recruitment it is right that councillors have confidence around the appointment of this important role. I hope the resilience over the past few weeks stands me in good stead for what is required to lead one of Scotland’s 32 local authorities.

“I know already that there is a very good team behind me at Inverclyde Council and I look forward to working with them in a new role as chief executive. John Mundell leaves some big shoes to fill. I have worked with John since 2006 and, while I am looking forward to this new challenge I will be calling on his good counsel over the next few weeks to ensure a smooth transition.”

Aubrey has been corporate director of environment, regeneration and resources at Inverclyde Council since 2006. During that time he also taken on the challenging role of chief executive of Riverside Inverclyde since 2013.

Prior to joining Inverclyde, Aubrey was head of regeneration at North Tyneside Council from 2004.

Aubrey, a former part time infantry private in the British Army, was awarded the Gallantry Service Medal for active service.