Rebuilding the Clyde to Support Communities, Create Jobs and Draw Investment
In late August 2023, the Scottish Government announced the migration of Clyde Mission to Glasgow City Region, a project which has been underway since 2020 to transform the riverside corridor.
The migration, which brings direct responsibility for Clyde Mission under the Region, includes funding of £1.5 million for a dedicated team to scope and develop a masterplan in hand with £25 million capital funding for heat decarbonisation projects.
From the Clyde’s origins in South Lanarkshire to the opening of the river at the Firth of Forth, more than 100,000 people live just 500 metres either side of the 80-mile river corridor. It is also a base to 6,600 businesses supporting 160,000 jobs and an estimated GVA contribution of £6.5 billion to the economy.
The river has witnessed extensive regeneration and investment over the past 20 years. It hosts headquarters for BCC, STV and the SECC campus, with the SSE Hydro injecting an estimated £131 million annually into Glasgow’s economy.
Extensive industrial dockside space is available and City Deal funding is transforming the riverside with projects to remediate land, deliver new homes and commercial development, and improve connectivity – including three new bridges.
The Region’s three Innovation Districts are also all based around the river and have drawn billions of pounds of new infrastructure investment, much of which has been led by the Region’s universities.
The river is also a base to Glasgow’s thriving Financial Services district and the new build Barclays Campus, the most significant inward investment ever made in Scotland.
However, the river is also home to some of the most disadvantaged communities in Scotland. 18% of the population either side come from the top 5% Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) areas. These communities face challenges including a lack of connectivity and proximity to Vacant and Derelict Land (VDL). Around 75% of the Region’s total VDL is based along the river corridor.
But VDL also presents an enormous opportunity. An important piece of work by the Region is already underway to analyse the VDL and to better understand the conditions of these sites. For the first time, the Region is also able to demonstrate the economic value of investment in VDL.
Furthermore, the project ties in with various strands of work already underway in Glasgow City Region, including City Deal funded work to decontaminate large tracts of ex-industrial sites along the Clyde; work to future-proof the Region from rising sea levels and the risk of flooding; and our ambitions for a Clyde Metro Regional transport system.
The Clyde is the greatest untapped development opportunity in western Europe. By freeing up swathes of VDL into productive use, the Region can support communities in areas of deprivation, create new jobs and draw enormous inward investment.