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THE MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS. Weds 19th January 2011
Wed 19th Jan 11 - 12:25

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"Floating Concepts' aquatic village gets go ahead"

A Wilmslow company has been chosen as the preferred bidder to develop what is said to be the world's first floating leisure village.

The £30m Canting Basin project on the River Clyde in Glasgow is expected to create up to 450 jobs when complete, by transforming the area into a floating community with homes, shops, restaurants, a marina and a rooftop concert arena.

Floating Concepts has been selected from 17 bidders to develop three hectares of former docklands a mile from Glasgow city centre.

The company's chief executive is David Beard, a property developer who led the regeneration of Liverpool South Docks, and is also exploring the potential for developments similar to Glasgow in Salford Quays.

He said: All great coastal cities have a prime waterfront destination and now Glasgow has the chance to join those ranks. The iconic nature of a floating village will turn the Canting Basin into a major attraction quite unlike any other in the world, as well as being a dynamic centre for local people and business.

"The vision for Canting Basin is a break through in recognising the potential of ‘blue-field' sites."

Floating Concepts was founded four years ago and has six staff. Its plans for Canting include creating a new canal with a floating roadway serving office buildings, studio flats and town houses with their own private moorings.

Under the proposals, residents and businesses would be able to order their buildings ‘off-the-peg', or request a bespoke design-and-build service.

Units would be sold with access to a ‘pool' of boats to encourage the use of the river for transport and recreational use, which residents will be able to book online.

Mr Beard said: "If the people and business community of Glasgow want this to happen and get behind us, it can be delivered, despite current market conditions.

"They need to ‘will it' to happen. We are offering a private sector inward investment initiative to offer a completely new way of living, working and enjoying leisure time, and one which we are currently negotiating to emulate at several blue-field sites across the country."

Floating Concepts will hold talks with Glasgow city council with a view to submitting a planning application in the near future. Building could start in the second quarter of 2012 and would take around three years to complete.

Allan McQuade, a director at economic development agency Scottish Enterprise, which is behind the scheme ,said: "The floating leisure village proposed by Floating Concepts for the Clyde's Canting Basin has the potential to become a vibrant waterfront tourism and leisure destination at the heart of Glasgow's Pacific Quay.

"It is an innovative proposal which makes maximum use of the water and we look forward to working with Floating Concepts over the next few years as the project is implemented."

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