Traders on Rutherglen Main Street have welcomed the news the town could see thousands of jobs arrive over the next 20 years.
They were speaking as South Lanarkshire Council gave planning permission in principle for the ambitious project at Shawfield which will create the new National Business District (NBD).
Clyde Gateway believe the site could support 15,000 jobs in 20 years time.
Although the NBD will be connected by a new footbridge to Dalmarnock train station, it is set to stretch all the way to Rutherglen station, with local businesses, as well as the owners of the shopping centre, hoping for a major boost.
Jim McNeill runs the Fruit Corner in Rutherglen Shopping Centre was delighted with the prospect: “Not only would Rutherglen benefit but the surrounding areas could also be helped. Rutherglen badly needs any kind of lift and this announcement could be just it.”
Kal Akhtar has owned the Superbuys store on Main Street for 20 years, and he described it as “the most exciting news, from a business perspective, I’ve heard in years,” adding: “This news could be just the catalyst Rutherglen needs to turn it’s fortunes around.”
Managing director for Rutherglen Shopping Centre owners Moorgarth Tim Vaughan said: “What you need is to have people who are working in Rutherglen to visit the Town Centre. The more people who are focussed in the vicinity of the town centre will be beneficial to the whole of Rutherglen, not just for our centre.”
The £15m first phase of the plan was unanimously backed by members of the planning committee yesterday (Tuesday). Approval was given for infrastructure improvements, remediation of contaminations and the creation of development platforms for business, industrial, storage and office use.
The project is at an early stage, but suggested plans include a hotel, casino and retail hub around Shawfield Stadium. It is expected 350,000 square metres of business space will be developed.
Clyde Gateway say transport links with the Polmadie junction of the M74 extension and proximity of Dalmarnock train station, as well as the riverfront location, make Shawfield a perfect site for a NBD.
Council leader, Councillor Eddie McAvoy said: “This is one of the most ambitious and groundbreaking projects we have had the pleasure of giving approval to in recent years.
“It could make a significant contribution to growth in Scotland’s economy as well as massively improving the local environment.”
Ian Manson, chief executive of Clyde Gateway, added: “I’m delighted that we can now move on to the long-overdue regeneration of Shawfield with the delivery of the National Business District which will see a transformation that is at the cutting-edge of engineering and technology and deliver something that is truly world-class.
“The recent award of £6m from the European Regional Development Fund will enable us to physically get on-site next summer with the first phase of works which will see extensive land remediation together with substantial amounts of new infrastructure above and below the ground.”