A strategic dock, ten miles from Glasgow City Centre, is to undergo a £1.3 million transformation to create a key location for Scotland’s burgeoning renewable energy sector.
The 53 hectare Westway industrial site and adjoining dock in Renfrewshire is to be one of the first beneficiaries of Scotland’s National Renewable Infrastructure Fund (NRIF) which aims to bring dock facilities back into operational use to support and attract companies involved in the manufacture of heavy components for the renewables sector.
Site owner, WB Westway, has successfully secured £500,000 from the fund to support its ambitious £1.3 million project that will involve dredging of the dock area, work to create a navigable channel along the River Cart and improvements to the quayside to make it capable of taking loadings from heavy components manufactured on site.
The project will broaden the range of manufacturing locations available to the renewables energy sector in Scotland and in particular provide a site on the upper Clyde which will enable companies to tap into the connectivity, R&D base and skills available within the greater Glasgow conurbation.
The dock improvements have potential to accelerate overall ambitious development plans for a further 30 acres of land with a masterplan that could see up to £70 million invested in the area over the next decade to create further business infrastructure including a bridge over the River Cart.
The First Minister said: “We are already seeing the potential of the renewables revolution to reindustrialise communities across Scotland, including along the Clyde. Just as Glasgow was a leading industrial location for the international maritime and shipping industry in the 19th century, the wider city region is increasingly securing its status as an important hub for offshore renewable engineering excellence in the 21st Century.
“This initial funding award will help Westway to transform the site, to win new tenants, as well as new orders for existing tenants, which include Steel Engineering – an exciting, dynamic Scottish company that is increasingly expanding its renewables business. We expect to make further awards later this year to support additional investment in key port locations around Scotland - ensuring communities across the country are ideally-placed to seize the huge opportunities of the global renewables revolution.”
Lena Wilson, chief executive, Scottish Enterprise, said: “We have been working intensively with port owners across Scotland to look at existing infrastructure and investment required to support Scotland’s growing renewables sector.
“Glasgow and the West has much to offer the sector and has already claimed a place on the renewables map attracting energy heavyweights and pioneers in the offshore wind sector such as Scottish and Southern Energy, Iberdrola and Gamesa.
“This initial investment will help inject fresh industrial life to the upper Clyde and ensure that is capable of meeting the needs of the manufacturing companies operating in the renewable energy sector.”
Historically, Westway accommodated engineering companies involved in heavy manufacturing. The existing accommodation comprises large scale units, cranage and dedicated dock facilities making it highly suitable for companies involved in the renewable energy manufacturing supply chain.
Mark Holmes, investment and asset manager of the Moorfield Group said: “This announcement is a fantastic boost for Westway and for the West of Scotland in general. The funding will enable us to extensively upgrade the dock facility at Westway and provide a much-needed transport solution for the occupiers at the park, many of whom are involved in the Scottish renewables sector. We are grateful to the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise for their continued support.”
Investment in the dock facility is expected to attract a number of new companies and investors in the renewables sector as well as support continued growth of existing tenants at the Westway site such as Steel Engineering Limited, which is focused on increasing steel fabrication activity for the renewables sector, and James Fisher Defence which is currently exploring the potential of entering the renewable supply chain with new cabling technology.
Essential port and manufacturing infrastructure is widely recognised as an obvious fundamental to the successful attraction of potential investors and Scottish Enterprise, in conjunction with the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and industry partners, has been working to map out the necessary infrastructure and investment.
The resulting National Renewables Infrastructure Plan and Fund attracted strong interest with applications from a wide range of port operators and consortia looking to upgrade facilities to provide essential manufacturing, test and demonstration infrastructure for offshore wind supply chain. Further awards are expected later this year to support additional investment in key port locations around Scotland which are earmarked for renewables developments.
is Scotland's main economic development agency and aims to deliver a significant, lasting effect on the Scottish economy. Our role is to help identify and exploit the best opportunities for economic growth. We support ambitious Scottish companies to compete within the global marketplace and help build Scotland’s globally competitive sectors. We also work with a range of partners in the public and private sectors to attract new investment to Scotland and to help create a world-class business environment.