Businesses in East Renfrewshire have benefited from a multi-million pound boost since the Glasgow City Region City Deal was agreed.

East Renfrewshire Council said “significant progress has been made in delivering tangible benefits” through the UK and Scottish Government-funded £1.13billion initiative over the past five years.

With £33million worth of City Deal contracts won to date by companies across the region and more than £300m of funding agreed so far for infrastructure works, further contract opportunities are also in the pipeline.

Councillor Tony Buchanan, leader of East Renfrewshire Council and holder of the infrastructure portfolio for Glasgow City Region, said: “As we reach the first five-year milestone of the City Deal, there is a real sense of progress and momentum.

“In East Renfrewshire, City Deal investment has already supported business opportunities and job creation with the construction of new commercial units at Crossmill Business Park, in Barrhead, and a new business centre at Greenlaw set to open soon.

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“Ambitious future plans are underway to improve the road network between Barrhead, Newton Mearns and the M77, create a new train station in Barrhead and enhance tourism at Dams to Darnley Country Park.

“Real, tangible benefits have been achieved, not only in the delivery and impact of the infrastructure projects, but also through the resulting closer collaboration between the local authorities and our utility and infrastructure partners, maximising economic benefits for the region’s 1.8 million residents.”

Perhaps the most eye-catching development in the City Deal plans for East Renfrewshire is the creation of a new train station in Barrhead.

Multi-million pound proposals for the station, to the south of the town, were put forward for scrutiny to Transport Scotland three years ago.

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However, the project’s journey since then has not been entirely smooth.

Emails obtained by the Barrhead News revealed frustrations over breakdowns in the communication chain between Transport Scotland and East Renfrewshire Council.

Concerns were also raised over “potential capacity issues”at the new station.

It was stated the new station could serve up to 500,000 passengers a year but the increase in numbers on the Neilston to Glasgow line, on which the station would be added, could see hundreds more commuters forced to stand every morning as a result.

ScotRail bosses assured passengers that longer trains will be made available ahead of any new station opening.

Other major developments included in the City Deal include improvements to the road network between Barrhead, Newton Mearns and the M77 motorway, as well as the transformation of Dams to Darnley Country Park into a ‘must-visit’ leisure destination, to include a visitor centre, promenade and watersports.

The new Greenlaw Business Centre, in Newton Mearns, is due to open shortly, with the formal opening taking place early next year.
It will providing modern office accommodation and support for local small and medium-sized businesses.

Glasgow City Region City Deal

Agreed in August 2014, the Glasgow City Region City Deal is a partnership between eight local authorities.

East Renfrewshire Council is joined in the partnership by its counterparts in Renfrewshire, Glasgow, Inverclyde, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire.

As part of the deal, the Scottish Government and UK Government has each made a commitment to provide £500million in funding, with the eight councils supplementing this by borrowing £130m.

Council chiefs say that City Deal projects have already created thousands of jobs across the region and generated more than £10m in private sector investment.
Outside of East Renfrewshire, major City Deal initiatives include the creation of Europe’s first ever ‘smart canal’ – an innovative £17m project that will combine new technology with a 250-year-old heritage asset to mitigate flood risk by enabling massive regeneration in an area in the north of Glasgow that was previously unfit for development.