Major Falkirk Canal Side Development Unveils New Name

06 Sep 2011

The partnership behind the 58 acre mixed use canal side development next to The Falkirk Wheel, which has recently received planning permission, has today unveiled its new name - 'Portdownie'.

Falkirk Council and British Waterways Scotland collaborated as partners to take forward the masterplan application for this exciting development and have chosen the Portdownie brand to reflect the local historic name by which the canal basin is known. It was well received by the local community during the consultation phase.

To coincide with the announcement of the Portdownie name, a new website Portdownie.com has also been developed to provide more information, background and to show the opportunities for the expansive canal side site to potential developers and the local community.

The announcement of the name and new website are recognised as key milestones by British Waterways and Falkirk Council and will be the platform for developers and other interested parties to access information about the project.

The Portdownie development is part of the continuing wider process to revitalise the Forth & Clyde canal corridor, which will include iconic regeneration projects such as the Lottery £43m Funded Helix project and the Rosebank Distillery.

Cllr Adrian Mahoney, Convener of Economic Strategy and Development said:

'We have big aspirations to see this area transformed into a vibrant community with new jobs, properties and businesses created in an attractive setting.

'The canal offers great development opportunities for this natural resource as well as providing a fabulous leisure attraction with the marina and open spaces that it will offer.

'As part of our brief to regenerate our area under the My Future's In Falkirk strategy, Portdownie will see the creation of jobs and boosted economic prospects locally when delivered.

'We are still at an early stage of the project but we have already allocated £100,000 to facilitate taking this project forward and are currently working how this project can be delivered.'

Steve Dunlop, Director, British Waterways Scotland:

"Portdownie is a hugely exciting development for Falkirk and it will really maximise the value and potential of The Falkirk Wheel and the Forth & Clyde Canal. Once complete, it will offer the full choice of homes, as well as some excellent waterside opportunities for commercial enterprises.

"Most importantly, whilst Portdownie will occupy a unique setting close to The Falkirk Wheel and by the revitalised canal, it is not a development in isolation. It also benefits from being part of a wider, integrated and long-term placemaking initiative we are progressing along the greater canal corridor between Grangemouth and The Falkirk Wheel in partnership with Falkirk Council.

"This corridor long placemaking project is already breathing real vitality into the area. The vast new parkland and waterside at The Helix between Grangemouth and Falkirk, for example, is beginning to take shape and we are advancing with our plans for the listed Rosebank Distillery which occupies a gateway position into Falkirk town centre.  Altogether, this means that there is a growing high quality amenity in the greater Falkirk and Grangemouth area and this will only be to the benefit of residents and local businesses taking up occupation at Portdownie once the development is complete."

The plan for Portdownie, which lies to the west of Falkirk town centre, also supports My Future's In Falkirk, the ten year economic regeneration plan for the town and the Falkirk Council area.

Further information on project delivery and timescales will be announced in due course. 

-ends-

For more information or images please contact Kate.Forster@smarts.co.uk  or call 0131 561 0427.

Notes to editors

The Portdownie regeneration initiative includes a mile long vibrant canalside quarter along the Forth & Clyde Canal between The Falkirk Wheel and the B Listed Rosebank Distillery.

The new waterside quarter will include residential units, a hotel, leisure/retail and commercial space arranged around a public square, the handsome B Listed Union Inn and a new 50 berth marina complex.                                              

The new marina will also be home to 18,000 sq ft of commercial, leisure and retail space as well as the B Listed Union Inn (with pub and restaurant), which will be refurbished and extended to feature a double frontage overlooking the vibrant new canalside environment.

There will also be potential for improved waterside activities opening access to the historic canal environment, such as cycle and canoe/kayak hire and boatyard facilities for local and visiting boaters.

Leading Scottish masterplanners Michael Laird Architects were commissioned by Falkirk Council and British Waterways Scotland to develop the masterplan which extends over the full 140 acre setting. It will also deliver an enhanced 'gateway' entrance to The Falkirk Wheel, which, as one of Scotland's leading tourist attractions, welcomes half a million visitors each year to the world's only rotating boatlift.

'Portdownie is a hugely exciting development for Falkirk and it will really maximise the value and potential of The Falkirk Wheel and the Forth & Clyde Canal.'

Steve Dunlop, Director, British Waterways Scotland

aerial view of The Falkirk Wheel

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