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Internationally renowned architect develops first Clyde opening road bridge

The award-winning architect behind the Falkirk Wheel believes proposals for the Clyde’s first opening bridge will act as a symbol of the region’s regeneration.

artist’s impressions of the proposed River Clyde bridge

Internationally acclaimed Tony Kettle has drawn on the area’s rich shipbuilding heritage to develop a new road bridge between Renfrew, Clydebank and Yoker as part of a major infrastructure investment project.

The bridge, which will open for passing ships and accommodate vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists, is a key component of Renfrewshire Council’s £90.7million Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside project, which is funded through the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

Leading engineering and design consultancy Sweco worked with Kettle Collective to develop the conceptual design for the new twin-leaf bridge which uses a modern cable stay system akin to the Queensferry Crossing.

Each leaf of the bridge opens and closes horizontally, with the joint at a 30-degree angle in a nod to the local dry docks, while inclined masts rotate to resemble the turning motion of cranes.

“The design is inspired by the shipbuilding story of the Clyde,” said Kettle. “We sourced historical photos and maps which show dry docks cut into the embankments and there was the movement of the cranes, turning in beautiful circular motions to construct the ships.

“All of this was inspiration for us when creating the bridge to be both a physical landmark and one that is symbolic of the area’s traditions and its regeneration.

“Its design is packed with drama and dynamism, creating a visual spectacle which we believe will draw people to come and see it, but there is no compromise on the functionality. The aesthetics accentuate the functional aspects to give the bridge an expressiveness and elegance.”

Kettle hopes the project could be extended to include a viewing platform and visitor attraction, providing a place for people to learn more about the history of the Clyde and explore the mechanics behind the bridge.

He was the brains behind the 1,200 tonne Falkirk Wheel which has attracted more than 5.5million people since it opened in 2002.

Kettle Collective has also been involved in a wide range of major international projects from designing the Solar Innovation Centre in Dubai to drawing up designs for the 470-metre Lakhta Tower in Russia, which will overtake The Shard as Europe’s tallest building.

Closer to home, Kettle Collective designed Ripple Retreat, a new children’s cancer centre which opened in May in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.

The new River Clyde crossing is part of plans to connect communities across the river and regenerate the Clyde Waterfront as an attractive area supporting residential, industrial, business, retail and leisure opportunities.

It is, Kettle admits, a project he can’t fail to be excited by.

He added: “Every project is like one of your children and you love them all equally, but working on projects in Scotland are the most important to us as it’s our home. It’s an honour to have the opportunity to work on a project like this which is focused on regeneration.

“We want to create something special for the area. Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside is a brilliant project, designed to bring people together, bridging communities. It’s funny how communities can sit side-by-side, separated by physical and symbolic barriers. Hopefully this bridge will bring people together for the benefit of everyone who live and work there.”

Plans for the crossing and all Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside infrastructure are being considered by planning authorities in Renfrewshire, West Dunbartonshire and Glasgow this summer. If approved, construction is anticipated to start in 2018 and be completed in 2020.

The £1.13billion Glasgow City Region City Deal is an agreement between the UK Government, Scottish Government and eight local authorities across the Glasgow City Region to deliver improved infrastructure, create new jobs, tackle unemployment and drive innovation and growth.


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5.7% increase on June 2016 passenger numbers

EU-scheduled traffic up 16.1%

For the first time in its 51-year history Glasgow Airport recorded more than one million passengers in the month of June, representing a 5.7% increase on the same period in 2016.

Demand for EU-scheduled services increased by 16.1% thanks to additional capacity on city-break destinations including Berlin, Amsterdam, Dublin, Bucharest and Dusseldorf as well as new routes to Brussels, Valencia and Lisbon.

The airport’s success in strengthening its European connectivity continued with the introduction of a new twice-weekly Blue Air route to the Romanian city of Iasi.

International traffic grew by 10.4% as the busy school holiday period got underway, while long-haul routes were up 12.4% due to strong demand on services to North America and Dubai.

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “June is traditionally one of our busiest months of the year, but to exceed one million passengers is yet another significant achievement for Glasgow Airport.

“Our strong performance in the first half of 2017 has been driven by our efforts to enhance existing services and expand our growing network with new destinations to give even more choice to our customers, including the launch of Ryanair’s new Zadar route last week.

“Later this month we’ll see a return of Scotland’s only direct link with Seoul as Korean Air’s in-bound charter service returns with an additional flight.

“Route development continues to be a key priority in driving growth at the airport and we’re looking forward to welcoming a number of services in the second half of 2017 to exciting new destinations including Madrid, Krakow and Frankfurt.”


Traffic summary

June 2017

Terminal passengers




July 2016 to June 2017 %


1,000,022 5.7% 9,677,211 7.3%


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Plans submitted for major infrastructure projects

Planning applications have been submitted for two major infrastructure projects led by Renfrewshire Council through the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

an aerial view of the infrastructure being developed through the Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside project

Authorities in Renfrewshire, West Dunbartonshire and Glasgow will consider the details of the £90.7million Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside project, which aims to regenerate the Clyde Waterfront as an attractive area supporting residential, industrial, business, retail and leisure opportunities.

artist’s impression of the regenerated Clyde waterfront

It includes construction of the only opening road bridge across the River Clyde and new roads and cycle routes to better link the communities of Renfrew with Yoker and Clydebank.

aerial view of the infrastructure being developed through the Glasgow Airport Investment Area project

Plans behind the £39.1million Glasgow Airport Investment Area project have also been submitted to Renfrewshire planning officials.

Construction of a new bridge over the White Cart, realignment of Abbotsinch Road, and new cycle routes form the project proposals to improve connections between the existing Westway, Inchinnan and Airport business parks.

It will also facilitate the creation of a world class business and commercial location in the heart of Renfrewshire, connected by air, sea and land.

If approved, work on both projects is expected to start on site in 2018 with construction completed in 2020.

Extensive engagement with more than 2000 people has signalled strong public support for the projects, with feedback surveys showing 90 per cent backing for the Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside project, while 94 per cent of respondents are behind the Glasgow Airport Investment Area project.

The projects are funded through the £1.13billion Glasgow City Region City Deal, an agreement between the UK Government, Scottish Government and eight local authorities across the Glasgow City Region to deliver improved infrastructure, create new jobs, tackle unemployment and drive innovation and growth.

City Deal projects will bring big business boost

Bob Grant, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, believes the Glasgow City Region City Deal projects led by Renfrewshire Council will bring jobs and business benefits to the local area.

He said: “These projects offer tremendous benefits for local businesses and have the potential to transform how we do business in Renfrewshire. These major infrastructure investments will make it easier for employers to do business; easier for employees to get to and from their places of work and open up the potential for future investment.

“Around 1400 jobs are expected during the construction period and a further 11,000 permanent jobs could be created through existing business expansion and new businesses being attracted to the area as a result of the City Deal infrastructure investment.

“Improved connections will also benefit the public and local employers, with 59,000 jobs becoming more accessible to Renfrewshire residents.

“I am very excited at the potential of the Glasgow Airport Investment Area to bring highly skilled jobs to the area. The signs are already there – the First Minister recently announced that an £8.9million specialist centre to develop new manufacturing processes for lightweight materials for the aerospace and automotive industries will be established here in Renfrewshire.

“It has been encouraging to see the public are firmly behind these projects and I look forward to seeing the work get underway. These are key projects in the Glasgow City Region City Deal, which has the potential to unlock £3.3billion in private sector investment benefitting the whole region.”

Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside

Project details

  • A 184 metre, two-lane opening bridge across the River Clyde, linking Meadowside Street in Renfrew with Dock Street in Yoker and accommodating vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.
  • A 750 metre Renfrew North Development Road to link Meadowside Street to the A8 at Argyll Avenue in Renfrew.
  • New cycle lanes and connections to existing cycleways and active travel paths, connecting from Inchinnan Road, Renfrew through to Yoker Railway Station.
  • New bridge approach roads providing access to the River Clyde crossing from existing roads
  • Active travel routes of pedestrian walkways and cycle lanes incorporated into all new roads and bridges
  • New and improved junctions upgrading existing roads and linking to existing and future developments.
  • Landscaping including woodland planting, trees along the proposed roads and hedges to create wildlife habitats

Anticipated project benefits

  • Increased business potential on both sides of the River Clyde, gaining access to more customers and suppliers
  • Improved journey times between the newly connected communities
  • Ease traffic congestion at Renfrew Cross
  • Attract £282million in private sector investment
  • Create 1015 jobs during the construction period and 629 permanent jobs as a result of new business creation
  • Help deliver 1690 new homes
  • Bring 83 hectares of land back into use
  • Support reduction in greenhouse gas vehicle emissions by more than 500 tonnes in 2020

Glasgow Airport Investment Area

Project details

  • Realignment and upgrading of Abbotsinch Road – including 1620 metres of new road  – to establish a high quality gateway into the new investment area
  • A new 70 metre, two-lane bridge over the White Cart river from Wright Street to an approach road off Arran Avenue
  • Active travel routes of pedestrian walkways and cycle lanes incorporated into all new roads and bridges
  • A 2030 metre off-road cycleway connecting the realigned Abbotsinch Road to Inchinnan Business Park
  • A 100 metre cycleway and pedestrian bridge spanning the Black Cart
  • New and improved junctions and connections to existing cycleways and paths
  • Benches and cycle parking at key points along new routes
  • Trees planted on the realigned Abbotsinch Road and hedge planting to enhance biodiversity on Inchinnan cycle way

Anticipated project benefits

  • Deliver the infrastructure and environmental improvements to facilitate a world class commercial location around Glasgow Airport and existing manufacturing centres in the heart of Renfrewshire
  • Support the continued growth and expansion of Glasgow Airport
  • Attract £430million in private sector investment
  • Create 365 jobs during construction and up to 10,600 jobs as a result of new business creation in the Investment Area
  • Create more than 300,000 square foot of new and enhanced development space.
  • Brings 60 hectares of vacant and derelict land back into use
  • Help deliver 250 new homes
  • Reduce HGV traffic on Porterfield Road and Paisley Road as a result of Wright Street link
  • Support reduction of greenhouse gas vehicle emissions by more than 200 tonnes in 2020
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Scottish Huntingtons Disease Digital Events Calendar

Scottish Huntingtons Disease Digital Events Calendar


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Glasgow Airport gears up for soaring summer getaway


More than 180,000 expected over weekend

Busiest weekend of 2017 

Glasgow Airport is preparing for its busiest weekend of the year so far as tens of thousands take to the skies for the summer holidays.

Picture – Nick Ponty
Glasgow Airport Summer Getaway
Zoe, 9, and Nicole, 7, Lewis from Falkirk. Heading to Orlando.

More than 180,000 passengers are expected to travel through the airport this weekend as the school holidays get underway, with people from all over Scotland jetting off to the sun.

The majority of travellers will be heading for popular sunshine hotspots such as Palma, Alicante, the Canary Islands, Crete, Canada and Florida. Other popular city break destinations include Paris, Bucharest, Amsterdam, Rome, Prague and Dubai.

Additional staff will be on hand at peak times over the weekend to provide support and assurance for passengers as they prepare for check-in and security.

The airport will also be providing a host of entertainment for departing travellers to ensure their holidays get off to a flying start.  This will include a kids’ zone in the departures area featuring arts and craft activities including face painting, while families travelling with young children can also get into the holiday spirit by enjoying a cone from the ice-cream cart.

Francois Bourienne, commercial director of Glasgow Airport, said: “The airport will be buzzing with activity this weekend now that the school holidays are underway. This weekend’s shaping up to be one of our busiest ever as our passengers take advantage of the wide variety of new routes and services on offer, including Lisbon, Valencia, Palanga, Iasi and Bergen.

“Given that the airport will be busier than usual we would encourage passengers to allow enough time for check-in and to ensure they are prepared for the security area and have their boarding passes ready.

“All liquids, gels and pastes carried in hand luggage should be 100ml or less and carried in a 20cm x 20cm clear plastic bag, which should be presented out with their hand luggage at the security check point.

“Passengers should also organise their hand luggage appropriately before they go through our X-Ray machines, which means removing laptops and other large electrical equipment from their bags and placing them flat and unobstructed in the tray along with smaller items such as keys, coins, watched and phones.

“Small steps such as these really help to ensure our passengers pass through security as quickly and smoothly as possible so they can relax and enjoy the start of their holiday.”

Glasgow Airport has invested more than £27m this year in enhancing terminal facilities and passengers will notice a number of upgrades including the recently-opened bigger Starbucks as well as new Accessorize and Boots stores.

Glasgow Airport has secured 18 new routes and addition services so far in 2017, including a direct daily service to New York-JFK with a series of popular European city destinations including Madrid, Frankfurt, Zadar and Krakow arriving later in the year.

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Blue Air launches second new from Glasgow to Iaşi

Blue Air, the first smart flying company with over 100 routes in Europe, operated the first flight from Glasgow to Iaşi on Saturday, June 17.

The new route will operate every Thursday and Saturday using a Boeing 737 aircraft. Blue Air currently operates the popular thrice-weekly service to Romanian capital Bucharest, which was introduced in December 2015.

Paul White, Business Development Manager at Glasgow Airport said: “This new Iaşi service from Blue Air is sure to be popular with both our business and leisure customers. As well as offering a key transport link to one of the most important political and economic centres in the province of Moldavia, this twice weekly service will also be a great link for ex-pats and those seeking a historical and cultured city break. We look forward to working with our airline partner Blue Air to ensure the success of the airline’s latest service at Glasgow Airport.”

Tudor Constantinescu, Chief Commercial Officer at Blue Air said: “Blue Air is excited to further grow its presence at Glasgow Airport, by introducing twice-weekly services from its Iasi operational base. This new route is aimed primarily at holiday-makers, considering the vast touristic potential of both Romania and Scotland. It will also be incredibly popular with the Romanian community in Glasgow and the surrounding areas. We look forward to making this route another successful story of Blue Air’s network.”

Tickets are already on sale, with prices from £27.62 (one-way, taxes included, subject to availability) on www.blueairweb.com, through the Call Centre or via over 3000 partner agencies.

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Glasgow becomes first Scottish Airport to gain ‘Taste Our Best’ accreditation for supporting the country’s produce

Success on a plate for Glasgow Airport   

Scotland & Sea Food Court becomes first in Scotland to receive quality assurance award

Picture – Nick Ponty
Glasgow Airport is the first Scottish airport to receive VisitScotlandÕs ÔTaste our BestÕ accreditation.
Chef Alex Sivewright with young passengers Ben (3) and Emily Morgan (5)

Glasgow Airport has become the first airport in Scotland to boast a coveted food and drink standards award – its Scotland & Sea Food Court has won a Taste Our Best award.

Picture – Nick Ponty
Glasgow Airport is the first Scottish airport to receive VisitScotlandÕs ÔTaste our BestÕ accreditation.
l-r Chef Alex Sivewright, Denise Gilmour, Glasgow Airport, Liz Buchanan, Visit Scotland, Paula McGee, manager Scotland & Sea.

The Quality Assurance accreditation from VisitScotland certifies the excellence and provenance of the food and drink available at Scotland & Sea’s airport eateries.

Taste Our Best, a joint initiative between VisitScotland and the Scottish Government, is designed to recognise businesses – including hotels, restaurants, cafes, takeaways, visitor attractions and B&Bs – that not only offer a quality food and drink experience but also include and promote Scottish produce on their menus, giving consumers more choice and an authentic experience.

Picture – Nick Ponty
Glasgow Airport is the first Scottish airport to receive VisitScotlandÕs ÔTaste our BestÕ accreditation.
l-r Denise Gilmour, Glasgow Airport, Chef Alex Sivewright, Liz Buchanan, Visit Scotland.

The scheme provides businesses with an assessment by qualified assessors of their food provision and menu, with those meeting the necessary criteria receiving the Taste Our Best accreditation.  The award provides consumers with an independent and trusted assurance of standards and in addition, offers businesses a valuable marketing tool.

Scotland & Sea comprises four outlets providing different catering offerings, with dishes freshly prepared and cooked on the premises. The separate sports bar and grill, deli, buffet-style restaurant and café bar offer a wide variety of dining options, from grab and go light bites to lunch.

The Food Court is operated by global catering specialist Delaware North, which invested over £2m five years ago to transform the Glasgow Airport Food Court into a stylish, contemporary and comfortable dining hall.

Paula McGee of Delaware North said: “Our priority is to provide our customers with a great, relaxed dining experience, enjoying food of the highest standards – and using quality produce is key to that.  Scotland is very fortunate to have superb produce so it’s important to make the most of those rich resources and to be able to give our Scotland & Sea customers a real taste of Scotland. 

“Our efforts to ensure we do that have been well supported by our suppliers – Bidvest Foodservice, Campbells Prime Meat and McGhee’s Bakery – who appreciate the impact of carefully considering the seasonality and provenance of produce. We are indebted to them, and to the hard work and dedication of all of the staff at our Scotland & Sea outlets, in helping us achieve our Taste Our Best award. 

“We are absolutely delighted to have won this important accreditation and we’re proud too to have enabled Glasgow Airport to become the first in Scotland to have it.”

Denise Gilmour, Head of Retail at Glasgow Airport, said: “We are thrilled to receive this award, and to be the first airport in Scotland to gain ‘Taste Our Best’ accreditation is a wonderful achievement for all of the people who work tremendously hard each day to provide a fantastic variety of catering options for our passengers and colleagues. 

“The Delaware North team at the airport has put in an incredible amount of effort to ensure Scotland & Sea meets the standards required to not only provide a first-class experience, but that the Scotland and Sea menu highlights the very best produce out country has to offer.

“As the airport’s tagline suggests, we are proud to serve Scotland. We’re also proud to promote Scotland’s rich and varied larder.” 

Liz Buchanan MBE, VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director, said: “My congratulations go to Scotland & Sea on winning this important Quality Assurance accolade. This is great news too for Glasgow Airport which is already well-known for its commitment to giving all of its customers and millions of visitors to Scotland, the warmest of welcomes as well as excellent hospitality.

“From bars to B&Bs and takeaways to teashops, Taste Our Best is open to any business with a food and drink offering. With research indicating that three out of four visitors to Scotland believe eating local cuisine will enhance their visit, Taste Our Best really is a recipe for success. It is an extremely worthwhile award to work toward as it really does boost business.”

Around 58% of all visitors to Scotland and 71% of overseas visitors to our country eat in a pub or bar, whilst almost half (49%) of all visitors want to try local food – giving hospitality businesses an ideal opportunity to capitalise on the increasing interest in the nation’s natural larder.

Research has shown that visitors are willing to pay up to 15% more for food that is of Scottish or regional origin, and businesses which provide and promote their use of local produce can typically enjoy higher level sales of up to 20% per year, providing a real financial incentive for businesses to sign up to the accreditation scheme.

It is estimated that tourism’s contribution to Scotland’s food and drink industry is worth £2.5 million per day to country’s economy, with sampling traditional dishes and local produce among the top activities undertaken by visitors to Scotland.

To find out more about the Taste Our Best scheme, visit:  www.visitscotland.com/taste-our-best.aspx

For more details on Delaware North, visit:  www.delawarenorth.com

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Glasgow Airport reported its busiest May on record after more than 910,000 passengers travelled through its doors during the month, representing an increase of 10% on the same period last year.

International and domestic routes were up 16.5% and 2% respectively thanks to additional capacity from a number of airlines including Thomson and Thomas Cook.

There was strong demand for the airport’s growing list of European city destinations including Eurowings’ Dusseldorf route and Ryanair services to Brussels, Sofia and Valencia.

Ryanair’s recently launched Lisbon route performed particularly well as hundreds of Celtic fans made their way to the Portuguese capital to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the club’s historic 1967 European Cup win.

May also saw the airport’s long-haul services up by 15% thanks to an increase in demand for North American flights including Florida and Emirates’ double daily service to Dubai, while easyJet’s Bristol services and Loganair’s Highland and Island routes helped boost domestic travel.

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “May was an extremely successful month which saw the launch of Delta Air Line’s inaugural New York-JFK route and new service to Bergen and the Isle of Man.

“Strengthening our EU connectivity continues to be an area of focus, so Lufthansa’s recent decision to expand its current seasonal weekly service to four flights per week all year round was extremely welcome news.

“In addition to making it easier for tourists from one of our biggest international markets to visit Glasgow, the expansion of this route will play an important role in strengthening Scotland’s connectivity by providing passengers with access to major markets worldwide through Lufthansa’s Munich hub.

“As we look ahead this month the airport is gearing up for what is set to be our busiest June on record as the school term comes to an end and tens of thousands of families pass through our doors to head off on their holidays.”

Traffic summary

May 2017

Terminal passengers




June 2016 to May 2017 %


910,333 10% 9,622,872 +7.1%
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Stuart Mitchell Interview

Stuart Mitchell Interview

Following the runaway success of his 2016 Fringe debut ‘Dealt a Bad Hand’ BBC Radio Scotland’s ‘Breaking the News’ panelist Stuart Mitchell brings his critically acclaimed show to Paisley Arts Centre on Friday 9th June. You can read more about Stuart here.

The interview was conducted by our very own Peter Greenwood.

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Glasgow Airport records 50th consecutive month of growth

Glasgow Airport reported its busiest April on record after more than 786,000 passengers travelled through its doors during the month, representing an increase of 8.9% on the same period last year.

An 18% increase in international traffic ensured Glasgow Airport was also able to record its 50th consecutive month of growth. There was strong demand for the airport’s growing list of European destinations including Ryanair’s new services to Valencia, Lisbon and the Lithuanian city of Palanga.

April marked the start of the busy summer season with a number of airlines including Jet2 and Thomas Cook adding extra capacity. The airport was also boosted by the Easter getaway with almost 110,000 passengers using the airport during the first weekend of the school holidays.

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport said: “In addition to growing our European network we have been working hard to consolidate our long haul offering. Both American Airlines and WestJet will return later this month and we also welcome Delta Air Lines to Glasgow for the first time when its inaugural service to New York-JFK takes off on 26 May.

“Not only do these routes play a hugely important role in strengthening our links with North America they will also help generate significant inbound tourism for Glasgow and Scotland, particularly at a time when the current exchange rate favours the US Dollar.

“Earlier this month Loganair launched our first ever direct service to Bergen, Norway, and with new flights to Frankfurt and Madrid still to come we are continuing to provide passengers with a greater choice of business and leisure destinations.”

Traffic summary

April 2017

Terminal passengers




May 2016 to April 2017 %


785,719 +8.9% 9,543,157 +6.5%

 SNP MSP Derek Mackay has welcomed the recently reported passenger growth at Glasgow Airport, which is in his constituency of Renfrewshire North & West.

The Airport recorded its busiest April on record as the Airport record its 50th consecutive month of growth.

Over 786,000 passengers travelled through its doors during the month of April, representing an increase of 8.9% on the same period last year.














Mr Mackay, the MSP for Glasgow Airport, said:

“It is encouraging to see passenger growing at Glasgow Airport yet again in what has been a very successful couple of years for the Airport.

“In a time of economic pressures, maintaining passenger numbers can be a challenge and this new increase in numbers is testament to the hard work of all the airport staff.

“Glasgow Airport is going from strength to strength which is good news for the whole of Renfrewshire.

“The Airport is a vital part of the local economy and any increase in passenger numbers has a positive knock on effect throughout the area.”