£15m deal to unlock development at former Clydebank shipyard

Queens Quay 1The former John Brown’s shipyard in Clydebank, famous for building some of the world’s greatest ships, is set to be unlocked for future development after an ambitious £15 million plan was signed.

The deal will see essential infrastructure and ground works undertaken on the site, and more importantly, pave the way for more than £250m worth of private investment, potentially including 1,000 new homes, a retail unit, hotel, care home and health centre.

The once thriving industrial yard was famous for building the QE2 and Queen Mary, but the majority of the site – now known as Queens Quay – has been derelict for decades.

Now almost 30 years on from the closure of the shipyard, West Dunbartonshire Council has agreed to invest £15.62m to bring a bright new future to the town.

The former John Brown Shipyard was bought by Clydeside Regeneration in 2004. However, due to difficult market conditions, the owners were unable to attract the investment to fund the necessary infrastructure works.

Under the terms of the innovative new agreement the council will step in to fund the repair of quay walls and create a new road layout. In return the council will recoup its investment from a share the financial benefits of any future land sales at the site, and in the economic benefits this would bring to the area.

It is expected that the works will start early in 2016, with the road infrastructure and site enabling work being completed by summer 2017 and the remaining works by early 2018.

This activity will allow the developer to push ahead with their master plan which includes proposals to build over 1,000 new homes (a mixture of private and social), a local retail unit, pub/diner, hotel, and new public space with a new boulevard leading from Clydebank town centre to the riverside and to the town centre and transport interchange.

Queens Quay

Unlocking the potential of the Queens Quay site is predicted to bring the following benefits to West Dunbartonshire:

  • £5.5m income generated locally each year, with a further £2.9m created nationally

  • 2,138 short term construction jobs
  • An estimated 57 apprenticeships supported;
  • Construction works worth an estimated £250m
  • Attracting an additional population of over 2,000 people

  • In addition these plans will complement the major developments that have already taken place on the Queens Quay site, including:

    • The development of West College Scotland

    • The opening of the Titan Crane visitor attraction
    • Creation of the Titan Enterprise Business Centre
    • Creation of Aurora House, now the offices of almost 300 council staff
    • A new £22m Clydebank Leisure Centre construction of which began at the end of June

    • And the council is also well under way with its plans for other development at the site:

      • A new £19m Clydebank Health Centre will be built with Scottish Government funding
      • A new £10m Clydebank Care Home
      • Patrick McGlinchey, convener for infrastructure and regeneration, said: “This deal sets Clydebank up for the most exciting period the town has enjoyed for decades. It is the biggest and most influential project the council has ever been involved in as we look to transform the former John Brown’s yard into a bustling community hub. To see over 1,000 new homes built at this stunning location overlooking the Clyde, as well as a range of other amenities, will help to drive population growth and bring a number of economic benefits to Clydebank.”

        Council leader Martin Rooney said: “For too long our once proud shipyard has been a derelict site at the heart of Clydebank, but that is all about to change. We’ve shown clear leadership in driving forward this landmark deal to create a once in a generation opportunity for regenerating the town and bringing major investment into West Dunbartonshire. The potential benefits are huge and it is really exciting to see how the plans to link up the Queens Quay site with the existing town centre will progress in the coming years.

        “A great deal of thanks must go to the council officers for their hard work in getting us to this stage and to our private sector partners for working with us to make this happen. We still need to keep the momentum going and my focus will be on working with the Scottish Government to secure partnership funding to support the social housing element of the development plans.”

        Duncan Graham, of Clydeside Regeneration, added: “The council has shown tremendous vision throughout this process and has always been an excellent partner in terms of driving the project forward. Having been involved in many large scale projects over the years, I believe that the way the council has approached the regeneration of such an iconic site should be held up as an example of how to approach this type of project. By the council committing this money it will allow us to push ahead with the major development plans for the site.”

        Paul O’Donnell, of Dawn Developments, Clydeside Regeneration’s development partner, said: “We have been working closely with the council throughout the Queens Quay process and this is a major step forward. Once these infrastructure works are carried out it really does open up so many opportunities for the site and it will be great to see these become a reality over the next few years as we start to realise the potential of this amazing site.”

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