INVERCLYDE Council has started public consultation over an ambitious bid to the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund to transform the heart of Greenock town centre.
The £22million proposals would create new civic spaces, a restructured more outward-looking town centre retail and leisure offer, improve links between various parts of the town centre and the waterfront and build in capacity for a new education/college facility and town centre housing.
The changes would include removal of the Bullring roundabout and the A78 flyover — bringing the road to ground level to increase access.
This would be replaced by 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.
Forty per cent of the indoor retail space in the Oak Mall would also go under the plan, along with council offices at Hector McNeil House (the former Central Library) in Clyde Square.
The plans could create space 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.
It could also create opportunities for a new cultural centre and quarter in the town centre developed around the Glebe Building in Crawfurd Street.
The ambitious proposals would also allow for the creation of an open civic area in the town centre creating a more welcoming environment for visitors and residents, and improved connections between the town centre and the waterfront.
If the bid is successful, work could start in autumn 2023, with completion by March 2025.
Inverclyde Council’s environment and regeneration convener, Councillor Michael McCormick, said: “The aim of the Levelling Up bid is to tap into national funding to bring about real transformation of the town centre in Greenock.
“The proposals would aim to ensure the sustainability of the town centre, open up and create better links in the town centre and improve access into the town centre for visitors and residents.
“The bid has taken some time to develop and needs to be submitted by 6 July 2022 and the council is now engaging with the community to find out the level of local support for the bid to bring nearly £20million investment into Greenock town centre.”
A public survey is available online.