A committee meeting yesterday (4th June) was given details of the plan to use Glasgow City Region City Deal funding to regenerate the quayside between Victoria Bridge and Glasgow Bridge.
Custom House Quay is the city centre's main frontage to the River Clyde and is seen as having potential to help meet the council's aspiration for a multifunctional and vibrant waterfront. Concerns about the structural integrity of the quay wall mean that use of this section of the waterfront for large events is discouraged and a lack of attractions means that the area does not benefit from footfall, particularly in the evening.
It is proposed that City Deal funding of approximately £25m is used to fund the construction of a re-aligned quay wall and provide a platform for developments. There would also be improvements to the public realm including better connections for pedestrians and cyclists along the waterfront.
Councillors heard that initial feasibility work has demonstrated that the construction of a new quay wall 20m into the river would enable the site to accommodate a mixed-use development that retains public access along the river edge and delivers significant public spaces.
A mix of residential, hotel and commercial uses with bars and restaurants at ground level would generate footfall and offer the level of passive surveillance necessary to ensure the area achieves its full potential as an attractive waterfront destination, the councillors heard.
Soft market-testing has indicated significant developer interest on Custom House Quay as a development opportunity. The redevelopment of the site would be expected to act as a catalyst for other regeneration projects on the Clyde.
Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council and chair of the Glasgow City Region Cabinet, said: “Custom House Quay is very important both in terms of its location on the riverside in the city centre, close to Buchanan Street and St Enoch Square, and as an attractive development opportunity. Glasgow City Region City Deal funding means that its redevelopment can now take place. Investment in strategic sites on the Clyde is currently taking place at Glasgow Harbour and at Tradeston with the Barclays campus, and the development of Custom House Quay would be another step towards realising the full potential of the waterfront.”
A previous residential-led plan to develop the site did not happen due to changing market conditions, and the cost of a new quay wall meant the project was not commercially viable.
Next steps for this planned transformation will be the development of design for the proposal and the submission of an application - supported by a masterplan - for planning permission in principle. Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2022 with completion in Spring 2024.
The £1.13bn Glasgow City Region City Deal is an agreement between the UK government, Scottish government and eight local authorities across Glasgow and the Clyde Valley. It will fund major infrastructure projects and create new jobs as well as improving public transport, driving business innovation and and generating private sector investment.