INVERCLYDE Council has been successful in its bid for nearly £20million from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund to transform the heart of Greenock town centre.
The changes include removal of the Bullring roundabout and the A78 flyover — bringing the road to ground level to increase access. Instead there will be a low level trunk road which does not split the town centre in two, with easier access to the town centre for visitors and residents.
Other aspects include new civic spaces, a restructured more outward-looking town centre retail and leisure offer, and improved links between various parts of the town centre and the waterfront. The proposals also build in capacity for a new education/college facility and town centre housing.
The announcement from the Department of Levelling Up states: “Nearly £20 million will help demolish and reroute the A78 dual carriageway to reconnect and transform Greenock town centre into a modern, vibrant hub based around public squares and green spaces.”
Forty per cent of the indoor retail space in the Oak Mall will go under the plan, along with council offices at Hector McNeil House (the former Central Library) in Clyde Square.
Space will be created for a new learning quarter and campus anchored on a new college facility and the existing Greenock library alongside opportunities for new town centre homes.
Inverclyde Council also hope the project could create opportunities for a new cultural centre and quarter in the town centre developed around the Glebe Building in Crawfurd Street.
Environment and regeneration convener, Councillor Michael McCormick, said: “This is excellent news for Greenock and Inverclyde that our levelling up bid has been successful. A stronger, vibrant town centre will help to boost the retail offer.
“The Levelling Up fund will bring about real transformation of the town centre in Greenock.”
Paul McGreevy of McGreevy Property Consultants said: “We have been working with Inverclyde Council on this project since the acquisition of the [Oak Mall shopping] centre and want to congratulate them on winning this bid.
“We look forward to working with the Council in completely transforming the centre of Greenock. We firmly believe this will be a transformational redevelopment presenting Inverclyde and Greenock in its best light.
“Huge credit must go to the to the council officials for driving this initiative,’ securing the owners support and ultimately winning the bid.”