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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 February 2006, 15:33 GMT
Makeover for deprived urban areas
The Inverclyde waterfront will be developed as part of the plan
The first minister has announced an urban regeneration programme to boost some of Scotland's poorest areas of industrial decline.

Jack McConnell and his deputy Nicol Stephen visited Greenock to reveal plans to develop the Inverclyde waterfront.

The move signals the beginning of a new strategy to attract private investment into run-down areas.

North Ayrshire and the Clyde corridor will also benefit from the scheme.

Mr McConnell said he wants a more co-ordinated approach to redevelopment.

He believes Scotland is being left behind by cities such as Liverpool and Manchester in the competition for new investment by property and development companies.

'Share prosperity'

He announced an urban regeneration company for Inverclyde which will allow an ambitious 434m plan by the local council and Scottish Enterprise to go ahead.

The aim is to build 2,500 waterside homes, leisure facilities, hotels, shops and a new campus for James Watt College, to replace the old shipyards and sugar warehouses of Clydeside.

The Clyde corridor regeneration will include both Glasgow's waterfront and the Clyde Gateway, which takes in the city's east end and neighbouring parts of Lanarkshire.

Mr McConnell was joined by Enterprise Minister Nicol Stephen and Communities Minister Malcolm Chisholm at the launch of the plan in Greenock.

He said: "Scotland needs a joined-up, imaginative approach to economic, community regeneration if we are to grow more businesses, tackle unemployment blackspots and support enterprising ideas.

"This is about people and the places they live in. I want all parts of Scotland to share in prosperity and enjoy a better local environment.

"This new strategy will use new partnerships with private investors and a more focused government effort to lever in funds, create jobs and transform derelict areas."


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