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COUNCIL LEADERS APPROVE£71M PROJECTS TO BOOST SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC BENEFITS IN WEST OF SCOTLAND

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Council leaders from Glasgow and its neighbouring authorities have approved multi-million pound spending plans on a...
Council leaders from Glasgow and its neighbouring authorities have approved multi-million pound spending plans on a range of projects designed to bring long-term economic and social benefits across the West of Scotland.

The decisions were taken at the first ever meeting of the City/Region Partnership, part of an innovative approach to deliver Community Planning to shape services around the needs of the public. These decisions were the partnership's response to the challenges laid down by the Scottish Executive in its Review of Scotland's Cities, announced in January this year.

The eight councils forming the partnership are Glasgow City, North and South Lanarkshire, East and West Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde.

Glasgow City Council was tasked to develop a new City-Region vision and proposals for spending the £40.1m allocated through the new Cities Growth Fund. The council had to achieve this over two months in consultation with its neighbouring councils and other stakeholders across the public and private sectors.

The task was led by Glasgow leader Charlie Gordon through an intensive set of meetings at political level prior to the May 1 elections, backed by wide-ranging discussions at officer level in the intervening period.

While the 26 page City-Region Vision document sets out a medium and long-term strategy for a whole range of policy areas including physical regeneration, transport, business development and jobs and training, work will begin immediately on the following:

- Expansion of the Glasgow Schools Vocational Training Programme to make access available to all 7 surrounding local authorities; this will see new Training Centres built to augment the existing facility at Queenslie Estate.

- New business development and residential sites in the southern part of Dalmarnock, together with appropriate flood control measures on the River Clyde in and around the boundary with South Lanarkshire.

- Regeneration proposals for the Glasgow North Canal, a joint venture with the British Waterways Board and ISIS covering an area of 1,000 acres from Port Dundas to Maryhill.

- A waste management innovation fund to identify innovative approaches to recycling.

- A new Gartcosh road link between the city and North Lanarkshire to improve access from Easterhouse to the proposed Gartcosh strategic industrial site development.

- Further works on the River Clyde to develop the International Financial Services District and implement the City Council's Tradeston Development Strategy.

- New factory, workshop, training and business centre developments in disadvantaged areas of the city such as Drumchapel, Easterhouse, Govan, Maryhill and Springburn.

- Public access and infrastructure improvements to complement the City Council's investment in tourism facilities at Kelvingrove Museum and the proposed new Transport Museum on the banks of the River Clyde.

The cost of all the projects over a four-year period is estimated at £71.1m, utilising the full sum within the Cities Growth Fund plus additional leverage of £31m from sources such as the Strathclyde European Partnership, Scottish Enterprise and the various Lottery funds.

Announcing the proposals, Mr Gordon said: 'The challenges set out in the Cities Review for Glasgow were very demanding, bearing in mind the wide consultation that had to be undertaken and the tight timescale which was affected by the election campaigns. Nevertheless, Glasgow City Council, and our neighbouring authorities have faced up to the challenge head-on, and we have produced a long-term vision that is innovative, imaginative and most importantly, eminently achievable.'

Mr Gordon continued: 'We have also come up with a set of spending plans that not only make full use of the £40.1m allocated through the Growth Fund but lever in substantial support from other sources.

'I am particula rly delighted that the Schools Vocational Programme, which has already made such a difference to many hundreds of Glasgow pupils, will have almost £10m added to it. In making this investment in the future of so many young people, 4,000 in total living in all areas within the Clyde Valley, we are ensuring that they will have the maximum opportunity to play a huge role in sustaining economic growth in Greater Glasgow.

'I would also like to pay tribute to my fellow council leaders for the part they have played in developing the City-Region Vision. Their participation in this exercise, and the commitment they have shown to this new approach will see Glasgow, and its surrounding environs, maintain both its competitive edge and its place as one of the great European cities.'

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