Lomondgate and Clyde Waterfront

A critical mass of development

David Hastings, Chief Executive of Strathleven Regeneration, explains how Lomondgate, at the very western boundary of Clyde Waterfront territory, is making a vital contribution to regeneration, with a total of 1800 jobs forecast by 2019.

When the Clyde Waterfront project area was extended to include Bowling and Dumbarton on the north bank of the River Clyde, the expansion was announced under the banner from one river city to another.  This alluded to the fact that the new project area included the Lomondgate development, home to BBC Scotland's studios and River City set.  Although the announcement - in September 2008 - coincided with the financial crisis and economic downturn, the Lomondgate development has since gone from strength and been one of Clyde Waterfront's success stories over that difficult period.


Over the past three years, advance infrastructure and structural landscaping have been completed, Whitbread have developed a Premier Inn hotel and the Malt & Myre pub/restaurant, two housebuilders (Walker Group and Persimmon Homes) are on site, with a third (Taylor Wimpey) having applied for planning consent.  Scotland's first drive-thru Costa Coffee is under construction and will be complete in time to cater to the £20m state of the art manufacturing facility being developed by Aggreko, the Scottish-headquartered world leaders in temporary power solutions.  Together with the BBC Scotland studios, there is now a critical mass of development and the vision of creating a new living, leisure and business hub at a strategic gateway to Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park is becoming a reality.  To April 2011 Lomondgate's impact on the region's GVA is independently assessed as £113 million.  It is forecast that by 2019 Lomondgate will accommodate around 1800 jobs and will have contributed £480 million of GVA.


Lomondgate is a regeneration response to a major closure.  In 2000, when the J&B whisky bottling plant closed with the loss of 470 jobs, Strathleven Regeneration Company (SRC) was established as a special purpose vehicle to facilitate regeneration of the redundant plant and development of associated land.  A mix of seed funding and land transfers was provided by West Dunbartonshire Council, Diageo and Scottish Enterprise.  SRC has also been supported by the local MSP and MP (John McFall MP - now Lord McFall - chaired SRC for 11 years.)  In 2004 SRC entered into a Development Agreement with developers, Walker Group (who acquired the former plant) and this partnership has been the key to successful delivery.  When the new Aggreko manufacturing facility becomes fully operational in early 2012 a significant milestone will be passed as there will then be more jobs located at Lomondgate than existed in the J&B plant.


As the Scottish Government takes stock of regeneration strategy in a new economy and with massive pressure on public finances, it is worth noting that there is no public capital funding in the Lomondgate development.  It is an exemplar of resilient partnerships across and between the public and private sectors and confirms conventional wisdom that regeneration is a long-term proposition.  The ethos has been to optimise economic additionality and maximise leverage through realising the potential of a place while aligning with national economic development strategy, in a commercial, market-led context.  SRC (now a community interest company) is an extremely lean, highly focused operation with its reach extended through the partnership with the Walker Group and through connectivity with the mainstream services of economic development and regeneration bodies.

Until its inclusion in the extended Clyde Waterfront area, Lomondgate did not enjoy any acknowledgement in national regeneration policy or priority - the association with Clyde Waterfront has given it some welcome recognition and each project contributes to the other's success.

David Hastings
Chief Executive
Strathleven Regeneration C.I.C.
29 August 2011