PROPOSALS to transform derelict land into a new greenspace in Barrhead have been given a cash boost.

New life will be breathed into the Levern River that runs near to Carlibar Park, as part of the Scottish Government’s new low carbon Vacant and Derelict Land Investment Programme.

More than £5 million, which aims to drive regeneration, enhance the environment and tackle climate change, will be shared among 10 schemes, including the creation of a new river bed and riverside green space in Barrhead, which has been awarded £1.1m, after the derelict land has acted as a barrier to visitors for 25 years.

The project will see the rechannelling of the river, surrounded by new woodland and gardens.

Tom Arthur, who is the Communities Minister and Renfrewshire South’s MSP, told the Barrhead News: “I am particularly pleased that Barrhead, in my own constituency, will benefit from the first tranche of funding. 

“The almost £1.1m of investment will be warmly welcomed by my constituents and visitors to East Renfrewshire alike.

“Derelict sites are often found in disadvantaged areas and can be a blight on communities, holding back development.

“I am pleased to see such diverse and innovative projects benefitting from the first awards.”

Earlier this year, a public consultation was held ahead of East Renfrewshire Council applying for planning permission for the development site at Walton Street, near Barrhead’s Main Street.

An East Renfrewshire Council spokesperson said: “We welcome this investment of over £1m from the Scottish Government, which will transform this derelict space in Barrhead. 

“The depot site at Walton Street has been empty for over 20 years, as flood risk meant the land could not be developed. 

“It will now be turned into a new green space, with a dramatic re-wilding of the Levern Water at its centre piece.

“The river will be widened and rechannelled to create an accessible and attractive waterfront that can absorb increased heavy rainfall caused by climate change. 

“Residents will also be able to enjoy new paths, river bank seating, wild flower meadows and woodland.”