Glasgow is set to become home to the world’s first floating leisure village, in a decision announced by Scottish Enterprise today. In a tightly fought tendering process, Floating Concepts Limited, based near Manchester, has been chosen as the preferred bidder to develop the former Canting Basin docks a mile from Glasgow city-centre on the south side of the River Clyde.
The £30 million pioneering proposals from Floating Concepts, designed by Glasgow-based ZM Architecture and specialist water-based architects Baca Limited of London, could create up to 450 local jobs and transform the Canting Basin into a spectacular floating community comprising shops, offices, houses, restaurants, a marina and a roof-top concert arena.
“All great coastal cities have a prime waterfront destination and now Glasgow has the chance to join those ranks,” said David Beard, Chief Executive of Floating Concepts.
“The iconic nature of a floating village will turn the Canting Basin into a major attraction quite unlike any other in the world, as well as being a dynamic centre for local people and businesses.”
Allan McQuade, Business Infrastructure Director, Scottish Enterprise, said: “The floating leisure village proposed by Floating Concepts Limited for the Clyde’s Canting Basin has the potential to become a vibrant waterfront tourism and leisure destination at the heart of Glasgow’s Pacific Quay.
"It is an innovative proposal which makes maximum use of the water and we look forward to working with Floating Concepts over the next few years as the project is implemented.”
“In addition to the anticipated jobs boost it will bring to Glasgow,” continued McQuade, “the development will become a thriving community for local residents and businesses and will directly support the growing creative industry cluster on the Clyde.”
“Scottish Enterprises’ vision for Canting Basin is a break-through in recognising the potential of ‘blue-field’ sites,” said Beard, who is also coowner of Liverpool Marina. “Floating structures can be applied successfully to many areas, including those at risk of flooding or subject to major tidal ranges as we are here on the River Clyde.”
Floating Concepts will now begin holding talks with Glasgow City Council with a view to submitting an outline planning application as soon as possible. The Canting Basin covers 5 hectares of water which borders the Science Centre and IMAX cinema at Glasgow’s Pacific Quay. Floating Concepts plans include using cutting-edge design and the latest sustainable technology to create a new canal with a U-shaped floating roadway, comprising a flexible mix of two and three storey glazed office buildings, studio flats and town houses with their own private moorings. Moored in front of ‘The Hub’ digital media centre are proposals for an eclectic mix of individual floating office and live/work units, ranging from 1000 to 3500 sq.ft, by leading designers of flo ating structures in Holland and Scandinavia, which will be offered on an ‘off-the-peg’ basis, in addition to a bespoke design and build service where required.
“Pacific Quay is a key location for Glasgow and the west of Scotland having already generated significant development and employment,” says Phil Reid, a Glasgow-based office and business space specialist. “This exciting and potentially world class project around the Canting Basin will bring innovative and desirable accommodation giving further momentum to this part of the river and major benefits for the city.”
The plans for a green, car-free environment, which could have its recycled refuse collected by barge, will accommodate shops, a hotel, restaurants and an 80 berth marina with a unique yacht club concept which would be open to the public. There are also plans for a further 150 berths for the residents and occupiers of the development and for visitors by boat.
To encourage the use of the river for transport and recreational use, the offices and residential units will be marketed with a range of ‘pool’ boats which residents will be able to book on line.
“The development will benefit from the existing footfall generated by the Glasgow Science Museum and Imax cinema and will reinforce and expand the existing leisure and recreational offer there,” believes Beard. “The floating village will also provide an important link between the Media Quarter, home to BBC Scotland and Scottish Television and spark interest and boost land values for the regeneration of the Govan Docks to the west.”
“So far, most of the new developments at Pacific Quay have been state dependent. If the people and business community of Glasgow want this to happen and get behind us, it can be delivered, despite current market conditions. They need to ‘will it’ to happen. We are offering a private sector inward investment initiative to offer a completely new way of living, working and enjoying leisure time,” said Beard, “and one which we are currently negotiating to emulate at several blue-field sites across the country.”
Notes to editors
Scottish Enterprise invited expressions of interest from developers in June 2009, followed by an invitation to submit detailed proposals in November 2009. Final submissions were made by the end of March 2010.
· Building could start in the second quarter of 2012.
· It is expected to take around 3 years to complete and will be built in up to 3 phases.
· The Canting Basin development offers a significant opportunity for economic benefit. At present the Canting Basin is largely vacant water with only limited active use. The area around the Canting Basin has been transformed by the creation of a Digital Media Quarter.
· It is a key development project under the wider Clyde Waterfront project which has invested more than £2billion to date to transform the Clyde into a river of opportunity for investors, businesses and communities alike. www.clydewaterfront.co.uk
· Floating Concepts are property developers on water, rather than land. They specialise in providing floating solutions for the development of water space which are tailored to suit the location.
· FCL also has a policy of remitting 5% of the profit it makes from any scheme back to the local community.
· FCL attaches tremendous importance to public consultation and social inclusion. This means that FCL employs local consultants and contractors wherever possible.
· Rather than design private, gated floating communities, FCL believes in maximising access for the general public, whilst at the same time, through intelligent design, not compromising security for the occupants or berth holders in any way.
· Floating Concepts is the brainchild of its chief executive, David Beard, a Chartered Surveyor with over 30 years experience in property development in the UK, including industrial; offices; out-of-town retail and residential development. He was part of the syndicate of investors who lead the early regeneration of Liverpool South Docks with the development of over 100 waterfront properties and the 450 berth, Liverpool Marina Bar and Grill, now owned by Harbourside Marina plc, which he controls. He and his Operations Director at Liverpool have also recently taken a 20% stake in the Liverpool Boat Show and have joined the Board of Marine Industry Events which is promoting it.
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