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Colin MacKinnon reports
"The Clyde used to be synonymous with heavy industry"
 real 28k

Saturday, 14 July, 2001, 12:08 GMT 13:08 UK
New era for River Clyde
River Clyde
The project aims to revitalise business on the Clyde
Private sector finance has been earmarked for the regeneration and development of businesses on the banks of the River Clyde in Glasgow.

It is expected that 750m will be spent advertising the area as a major European business centre.

Houses, shops and a new bridge and harbour are among the features planned or already under construction to place the River Clyde at the heart of the city's business and commercial centre.

Last month, a new science centre was opened on the banks of the river featuring the only tower in the world which can rotate 360 degrees from the ground up.

Interior view
An interior view of the planned BBC building

And in May BBC Scotland unveiled the design of its planned new 30m digital broadcasting headquarters at Pacific Quay on the south bank of the river.

Scottish Enterprise Glasgow chief executive Ron Cully said the strategy illustrated the determination to transform the area.

Speaking on BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme Mr Cully said: "We want to develop a river which is well connected, distinctive and we want to celebrate the river.

"We want to see along its banks quality homes for modern businesses, ambitious projects for Glasgow harbour and a user friendly integrated public transport system.

'Buoyant outlook in Glasgow'

"Scottish Enterprise Glasgow's mission statement is we want to make Glasgow one of the great cities of Europe."

He said the development of the Clyde would be a significant factor in realising this ambition.

But business on the river has suffered in recent times.

It was made public this week that 1,000 jobs are to go at Clydeside shipbuilders in Govan and Scotstoun.

BAE Systems, which owns the yard, announced the cuts on Tuesday.

Former union leader Jimmy Reid said that while the new development plans were laudable the business project has too narrow an economic base.

He said: "We had an unbalanced economy in the past because of its overdependence on heavy industry, now people want to have another unbalanced economy on the Clyde where manufacturing isn't a factor at all.

Pacific Quay on the Clyde
Pacific Quay: Location for part of the regeneration project

"The truth of the matter is that a balanced economy is a better safeguard for the people than what is happening now."

David Tannahill, of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: "What people have to realise is that the tradition of having one job for life just does not exist in Glasgow, anywhere else in Scotland or indeed worldwide.

"Manufacturing has a very buoyant outlook in Glasgow at the moment and there are jobs available. Today there are some 47,000 people employed in the leisure, tourism and hospitality sectors in Glasgow."

And Mr Cully added: "There is no reason why heavy engineering and shipbuilding can't live in harmony with some of the more pleasing aspects we want to see take place on the Clyde."

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See also:

11 Jul 01 | Scotland
Connolly's anger at job losses
19 Jun 01 | Sci/Tech
Science on the Clyde
16 May 01 | Scotland
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30 May 01 | Scotland
BBC Scotland unveils digital HQ
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