West Dunbartonshire Council’s Infrastructure Investment Plan outlining the regeneration opportunities was first produced in 2012. Since then, there has been considerable regeneration at Queens Quay in Clydebank and Dumbarton Waterfront, with much more to be delivered.
An outline business case has been approved for the City Region funded Exxon project near Bowling that will result in over £34m of investment, and a mixed housing and retail development is taking place at Dumbarton Waterfront.
In the next 10 years, the Council will continue to build on these investments and will deliver the regeneration of the North Inner Clyde Estuary stretching from Clydebank to the ExxonMobil site at Bowling, the delivery of homes across Queens Quay and improvements to the town centres at Dumbarton, Clydebank and Alexandria.
Queens Quay is one of the most significant regeneration projects in west central Scotland, and the long-term impacts are transformational for Clydebank and West Dunbartonshire. West Dunbartonshire Council and development partners had already invested in the redevelopment of the former John Brown’s shipyard, delivering West College Scotland Clydebank campus, the Clydebank Leisure Centre and offices at Aurora House and the Titan Enterprise Centre. Delivery of the rest of the masterplan by a successful partnership between site owners CRL and the Council is underway, including work on a new care home and day care centre, with planning advanced on the relocation of Clydebank Health Centre to the Quay’s Civic Quarter and the first phases of over 1,200 new homes. Further commercial and business opportunities are built into the masterplan, and interest from investors is promising. Queens Quay will be powered by a district heating system, generating heat from the river Clyde. Development of the Council-owned energy centre is currently underway and there is scope to extend the heating network beyond Queens Quay. A Queens Quay design code will be in place ensuring high quality, sustainable development, connections and public realm as the masterplan is delivered over the next 5-10 years.
North Inner Clyde Estuary
The North Inner Clyde Estuary between Bowling Basin and ExxonMobil site provides unique opportunities for waterfront development for leisure/recreation, housing, commercial and business uses. By working in close partnership with landowners along the Estuary, West Dunbartonshire Council will ensure that the redevelopment of the ExxonMobil site, including significant new roads and infrastructure, will pump-prime further developments in this location. With City Deal and West Dunbartonshire Council funding, the site will be bio-remediated, serviced and secured by West Dunbartonshire Council to promote for economic regeneration. The site’s proximity to the A82 trunk road and Erskine Bridge means that once enabling infrastructure is constructed, it will act as a magnet for private sector investors to develop employment and commercial floorspace.
The North Inner Clyde Estuary sites will benefit from better connectivity as a result of the new roads infrastructure at ExxonMobil site, and are situated next to Bowling Station, on the Helensburgh to Glasgow and Edinburgh main railway line.
Dumbarton Town Centre and Waterfront
Dumbarton has many natural assets. Its position on the confluence of the Rivers Leven and Clyde gives easy access and impressive views to the firth of Clyde, and the town is close to one of the world’s most recognisable inland stretches of water, Loch Lomond. Dumbarton’s skyline is dominated by the impressive Rock and Castle.
Dumbarton’s town centre is a traditional high street with a mix of building styles and ages, and also contains the Artizan Centre, a 1970s shopping centre. There are many historic buildings within the town centre, and in recognition of this Conservation Area status is proposed. The modern St James Retail Park is situated on the edge of the town centre and further small unit retail development is planned near the waterfront, between the High Street and the Dumbarton Rock.
In 2018 West Dunbartonshire opened its new offices in Church Street in Dumbarton town centre. Representing over £15m of investment in the heart of the town centre, the relocation of up to 1,200 staff to the town centre in this and two other town centre offices has already reaped benefits for high street businesses. The Council is committed to putting the town centre first and will be promoting a Town Centre Improvement Area, with practical and other help available to businesses wishing to invest in the area. Priority action will be taken on dilapidated buildings that could be put to better use, and projects that improve the connections and feel of the town centre.
With the new waterfront pathway between the town centre and Rock and Castle planned for 2020, and significant new residential and retail developments overlooking the River Leven and Rock, the waterfront regeneration is now being realised, bringing not only new jobs and homes to the town and the economic growth that they represent, but also a vital connection to the Dumbarton Rock from the town centre.