Economic targets surpassed at Lomondgate
Results of an independent economic impact assessment of the Lomondgate development at Dumbarton reveal that, as of April 2015, the project had attracted over £83 million of investment. This compares to an investment target of £60 million when Lomondgate was launched in late 2007. The fact that the target has already been surpassed is all the more remarkable given the extremely challenging economic conditions which existed following the global financial crisis in 2008.
The impact assessment, commissioned by Strathleven Regeneration, also indicates that Lomondgate accommodates 688 full time equivalent jobs and has supported nearly 70 construction jobs.
The Lomondgate project is a regeneration response to the closure in 2000 of the J&B bottling plant, which employed 470 people. Since its commencement, the Lomondgate development and the businesses located there which include Aggreko, BBC Scotland and the Whitbread brands; Costa, Brewers Fayre and Premier Inn have added a total of £263 million of value to the region’s economy.
Strathleven Regeneration has been supported by West Dunbartonshire Council, Scottish Enterprise and Diageo and is delivering the project through a partnership with developers, Walker Group (Scotland) Ltd.
Lomondgate has also proved a magnet for new home buyers. All 345 houses with planning permission have now been completed or are under construction. The new homes have been built by three developers; Walker Group, Persimmon Homes and Taylor Wimpey. The Persimmon development – which included 33 retirement flats for Bield – is complete with the other two housebuilders finishing their final phases. Completion of these developments will be a significant milestone for Lomondgate as, together with BBC Scotland’s Studios and River City set, the entire site of the former J&B plant will then have been regenerated.
Between 2011 – when housing development at Lomondgate got underway – and 2015, Lomondgate has accounted for more than half of the new homes built in West Dunbartonshire. The site has proved so popular that a planning application for an additional 58 homes has been made by Taylor Wimpey.
At Lomondgate Services, 2015 has seen the development of a petrol station – including a Spar, Greggs, Subway and Starbucks “On The Go” – by Euro Garages and Jaconelli’s fish diner, which is unique to Dumbarton. The Lomondgate partners are in talks with Whitbread regarding a possible extension of the Premier Inn hotel.
Local MSP Jackie Baillie said:
“Lomondgate has seen some of Scotland’s most successful regeneration efforts in recent years, as this new report shows. Ever since J&B closed in 1998 with the loss of 470 jobs, Strathleven Regeneration has been working with West Dunbartonshire Council and its partners to turn the fortunes of the place around and make it into the key site it is today, promoting Dumbarton as a great place to live, work, visit and invest in.”
“You only have to look around Lomondgate to see the incredible changes that have taken place – almost 300 new houses built and more underway, a new petrol station, hotel, restaurant and plenty of interest from other leisure and retail outlets – all visible from the A82 trunk road making it an exciting and attractive ‘shop-front window’ for Dumbarton to show Scotland that we are open for business.
“I am delighted that thanks to the £83 million investment in Lomondgate we have created or secured 688 full-time jobs– and that’s not even including all the jobs related to the house-building activity. There are now nearly 50% more jobs on the site than there were when J&B closed down.”
Councillor Martin Rooney, Council Leader and Board member of Strathleven Regeneration Company, said:
“It is fantastic that the Lomondgate development has already exceeded its original target and attracted £83 million worth of investment since 2007. The Council is committed to improving the area’s economic growth and employability and I am delighted that Lomondgate is contributing to delivering these ambitions. Hundreds of jobs have been created and the area has been regenerated with new homes and businesses. Lomondgate is a fantastic example of how we can work with private companies and partners to drive economic regeneration and I look forward to its continued success.”