A MAJOR project to transform the Clyde waterfront and bring thousands of jobs and investment to the regional economy is set to take a significant step forward.

Renfrewshire Council’s leadership board will be considering a new report next week on how the construction of the Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside project will accelerate the area’s recovery from the economic impact of Covid-19.

The report sets out the final business case behind the UK and Scottish Government funded Glasgow City Region City Deal project, which is ready to start construction by spring and expected to take three years to complete.

New economic analysis reveals 700 new and existing jobs will be needed to complete construction of the project, which includes a two-lane opening road bridge over the River Clyde from Renfrew to the boundary between Glasgow and West Dunbartonshire.

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There is also a new road through Renfrew connecting the bridge to the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland (AMIDS) and enhanced walking and cycling connections spanning from Renfrew to Yoker train station.

With planning consent in place, the construction contract is currently being finalised and will see all subcontract and supplier work over £10,000 publically advertised, with supply chain events to encourage bids from local companies.

Community benefits from the main contract will see jobs, apprenticeship and graduate roles, work experience placements, school and college visits and career events provided as well as volunteering and funding for community projects.

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson said: "The impact of coronavirus on the local economy is being keenly felt by our many brilliant businesses and many people have faced redundancy and unemployment, so it is hugely significant that the Clyde Waterfront project presents an opportunity we can seize upon now of much-needed jobs and opportunities for work and skills.

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"To have the project finalised and the contract ready to award is a major boost to our local economy and will help sustain and protect people’s jobs, a lifeline to suppliers and the construction sector. 

"Completing construction will in turn open up access to development sites along the River Clyde, bringing more jobs, opportunities and affordable homes on our doorstep, connecting communities to jobs, hospitals and education centres and create an attractive area along the waterfront."

The final business case found a further 1,400 permanent jobs and 950 temporary construction roles could follow from the £230million in private sector investment attracted to both sides of the Clyde through improved access to development sites.

It is hoped the creation of a new road through Renfrew will reduce the volume of town centre traffic and create a more pleasant environment, while there will be improved access to the Clyde footpath and measures to safeguard the local habitat at Blythswood.