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Published 24 February 2017

Plans for a £28million transformation of the former Exxon site in Bowling have taken a major step forward after Councillors approved an Outline Business Case.

At a meeting of West Dunbartonshire Council on Wednesday, 22 February, 2017, elected members approved the Outline Business Case for the project, which includes a proposal to create a major industrial and commercial development at the site, as well as plans for a new road to provide an alternative route in and out of West Dunbartonshire.

The proposed development is part of the Glasgow City Region City Deal and would see West Dunbartonshire Council contribute £3.8m towards the overall £28m cost, with the rest being funded by the UK and Scottish Governments.

It is expected that the project would support up to 690 full-time jobs and generate around £19.1m each year for the West of Scotland economy.

Following the approval of the Outline Business Case by the council this week, it will now go before the City Deal Cabinet in April.

If the City Deal Cabinet approve the Outline Business Case, the next steps will be to develop dialogue with other affected land owners and to launch detailed consultations with the local community. A Final Business Case will then be prepared, in which detailed site design and analysis will be included. Following that, negotiations with Exxon over the transfer of the site would be concluded before the Final Business Case is put before Council for approval.

If the Final Business Case is approved, it is expected that infrastructure work would begin on the site in early 2021 and be completed in 2024.

Councillor Patrick McGlinchey, Convener for Infrastructure and Regeneration, said: “This project would stand as one of the biggest ever infrastructure improvements in West Dunbartonshire and would bring about real change for the area, not least with the much-needed alternative road route in and out of the area. I am pleased that the Council has approved the Outline Business Case and we look forward to continuing progress on this ambitious project.”

Councillor David McBride, Vice-Convener for Infrastructure and Regeneration, added: “This decision taken by the Council marks a significant step forward in the City Deal project for West Dunbartonshire. While there is still much work to be done in detailing how exactly the site would look, it is clear that there is an appetite among businesses to come to the area. You only need to look at the Lomondgate site to see evidence of that. The former Exxon site is in a prime location for commercial use and the jobs and income it would bring would be a huge benefit to our area.”

The Glasgow City Region City Deal is an agreement between the UK Government, the Scottish Government and eight Local Authorities across Glasgow and the Clyde Valley.