Green light for Clydeside marine manufacturing hub

GLASGOW-based engineering specialist Malin Group has received planning consent for Phase One of a marine industry park project which aims to create almost 1000 new jobs on the Clyde.

Malin Group wants to create a marine manufacturing hub at Old Kilpatrick. West Dunbartonshire Council has given the green light to the first phase of the Scottish Marine Technology Park (SMTP), which includes a fabrication facility, consent for a deep-water jetty with a 1100Te ship hoist, and a remediation strategy to develop the former oil storage site.

Malin Group MD John MacSween said, “We are pleased and excited to have planning permission for the first batch of buildings and quayside equipment, including a HeavyLift deep water berth and a 1100Te mobile ship hoist. It is an important step on the journey, and it clearly demonstrates a willingness from the local authority to have industrial businesses, and the employment they bring with them, back on the Clyde riverside with the presence of exciting structures for the marine environment.

“We believe the Clyde has much to offer to the wider marine manufacturing community again and we are committed to making land and marine facilities available to any companies who can make use of them on a fair and equitable basis. As a show of faith we will be bringing our own fabrication division to the SMTP to kick start the development.”

Councillor Diane Docherty, vice chair of West Dunbartonshire Council’s Planning Committee said, “The heritage of the Clyde is something we are extremely proud of and so it is pleasing to see efforts to bring this site back to life in such a meaningful way for our area. The potential for almost 1000 new jobs created is brilliant news for our residents.”

The SMTP will be built on a derelict 47-acre site, formerly the Carless oil storage facility which suffered extensive damage during World War Two.

Mr MacSween expects the hub to be a ‘magnet’ for marine engineering and technology organisations as well as a ‘centre of excellence’ for the sector.

Malin commissioned Peter Brett Associates (PBA) to carry out an economic impact assessment of the development. The study envisages an economic impact that will create 986 jobs if the plan is fully realised and add £125.4 million annually to West Dunbartonshire’s economy. The construction phase of the project will also see over 600 additional short-term jobs created.

John MacSween added, “The heritage of the Clyde is something of which we should all be rightly proud. We have been working in the shipping industry for well over 100 years and have a passion for the river and its history, but there is a need to be looking to the future to ensure the long-term success of the Clyde as a maritime centre of excellence.

“There are already great examples of this in the form of what is being done at BAE Systems and, despite its issues, at Ferguson Marine in the shipbuilding sector. Training and ship-management too are very well represented and the Department of Naval Architecture at Strathclyde University is a world class centre for research and learning in the marine sector.

“What we are looking to achieve at Old Kilpatrick is to complement these activities and bring other marine clients, companies and interests here. I believe this development will be a magnet that will draw marine organisations to it, and that it will ultimately become a centre of excellence for the sector. We already have letters of intent from some key marine organisations who have said if we build it they will come.”