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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Custom House Quay - A Further Urban Waterfront Regeneration Project

The strategic value of waterfront properties in urban locations is fast gathering recognition in UK towns and cities. Benefitting not just coastal resorts with leisure based economy. Glasgow is the latest Authority to invest in strategic new regeneration of a stretch of riverfront land along the Clyde, and adjoining the city's central districts. Announced this week Custom House Quay envisages a mix of leisure, residential, large hotel and related commercial use to provide a whole new recreational area in proximity to St Enoch Square, Argyle Street and Buchanan Street.

A City Deal backed project envisages rebuilding riverside quays and insertion of green park space along the north side of the Clyde. Regrettably no heritage or visitor tramway is included in the concept designs revealed yesterday - but this omission could be rectified given the collection of old trams presently display further west along the Clyde in the amazing Riverside Transport Museum near to Partick.

Thus Glasgow joins Liverpool, Dundee, Leith, Kingston Upon Hull, Birkenhead with Wallasey, Belfast, and other UK towns turning the natural assets of waterfront property into sustainable landmark urban renewal schemes; each with unique landmark features. Fleetwood of course has its own large waterfront sites calling out for new social and economic purpose along the River Wyre, So far only Wyre Dock Development's vision 'Fleetwood Quays' proposes transformation and regeneration on a fulsome scale with long term aims of rebranding the town for the 21st Century. Below : Actions elsewhere

Fleetwood lags far behind nearby Morecambe already capturing international attention with its plans for 'Eden of the North' - harnessing both seafront vistas of Morecambe Bay and the Lake District peaks, with year round botanic leisure led attractions. Whilst Blackpool with Lytham and St Annes to the south are clearly branded as leisure destinations, Fleetwood is yet to harness visionary minds into building on the quite amazing history of the town and its vital role in Britain's fishing industry. Grimsby with its City Deal is well on its way through a vibrant public private sector partnership to grasping the tourism and leisure potential of not dissimilar harbourfront properties once the centre of that port's commerce.

The success of Flakefleet School and its younger generation in Britain's Got Talent Finals is a topical marker for bringing fresh minds and local talent into the task of rebranding Fleetwood for the future by utilising waterside assets in need of revival for the community's longterm benefit. Dundee, Glasgow, Morecambe, Grimsby, Belfast, Birkenhead, Liverpool, - have pole position in waterfront regeneration - Fleetwood's time is coming.

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