Glasgow City Council has appointed global engineering consultancy CH2M Hill to undertake design of a new bridge between Govan and Partick. The pedestrian / cycle bridge will be funded through the £1.13billion Glasgow City Region City Deal.
The consultancy's Glasgow office will develop the design of the bridge, with construction work expected to begin in 2019. CH2M Hill (formerly Halcrow) has previously delivered a number of bridges across the River Clyde, including the Clyde Arc, the Dalmarnock Smart Bridge and the Tradeston Bridge.
The bridge will once again make the historical connection between the two areas, and will be able to open to ensure that vessels such as Waverley will still be able to berth up-stream.
Support for a bridge between Govan and Partick was one of the most popular themes of a three-day charrette (workshop) involving members of the community from both areas that looked to establish a shared vision of the future. Most of those taking part felt that the bridge should cross from Water Row in Govan to either the Glasgow Harbour East site or a location beside the Riverside Museum, and a feasibility study will examine the most appropriate site for this.
Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: "Govan and Partick shared a connection for centuries, and with so much regeneration happening in both communities, the time has come for this bridge to further and strengthen their development. I am delighted to see the beginning of work on this, the next phase of the regeneration of the Clyde."
This new connection across the Clyde will stimulate economic growth and improve links between the University of Glasgow Campus and the hub of high-tech research facilities located at the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH).
It is hoped that the bridge will have a significant positive impact on the regeneration of Govan by re-positioning it at the heart of a triangle of economic opportunity created by the University to the North, the QEUH campus to the west and Pacific Quay to the east. The new bridge will also strengthen the existing circuit of visitor attractions on either bank of the river. This could generate linked trips and encourage people to spend more time and money in the area.
Historically Govan and Partick were spatially, socially and economically interconnected. For at least 2,000 years, the area had huge importance as a location where it was possible to ford the Clyde. As the river developed its role as a centre of industry, a port and an international seaway, it was deepened; but the vital social and economic connection was maintained through the provision of a network of cross-river ferries. In the late 20th century the river lost its role as a seaway, a port and a centre of industry. The historic Govan ferry was closed to passengers in the mid-1960s.
Both the UK and Scottish Governments will give the Glasgow and the seven neighbouring local authorities in the Clyde Valley £500million in grant funding for the City Deal, and the local authorities will borrow a further £130million to use for capital investment. The Glasgow City Region City Deal is expected to give Glasgow and Clyde Valley a permanent uplift in its GVA of £2.2billion per annum (4.4%); generate 15,000 construction jobs during the construction period and 28,000 permanent additional jobs; and will in turn unlock £3.3billion of investment from the private sector.
The eight local authorities participating in the Glasgow and Clyde Valley City Deal are: East Dunbartonshire Council; East Renfrewshire Council; Glasgow City Council; Inverclyde Council; North Lanarkshire Council; Renfrewshire Council; South Lanarkshire Council and West Dunbartonshire Council.