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WILMSLOW EXPRESS. Thu 20th January 2011
Thu 20th Jan 11 - 11:37

"Plain Sailing for firm after landing a £30m contract"

A business that specialises in building eco-friendly property on water will create a £30m floating community in Glasgow.

Floating Concepts Ltd, based on Water Lane, Wilmslow, has been chosen by Scottish Enterprise to develop the Canting Basin - the firm's first big contract.

David Beard, chief executive, founded the company four years ago with an aim to build eco-efficient structures on water.

"I've done a lot of travelling lately, round Europe to Holland, Scandinavia, and researched similar projects.

"But no one else is doing anything quite like this - a mixed development, floating and sustainable.

"It's very exciting for us - a lot of regneration over the last few years has been on quaysides - but this is taking it a stage further; onto the water itself.

"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 businesses."

Oriignally an on-land property developer, David, who has lived in the Wilmslow area for 30 years, is also working on projects at Salford Quays and in Liverpool.

But he and his team of four are yet to come up with any ideas for the River Bollin.

"We are working in a project in Cheshire but it's top secret at the moment," added David, a father of five who lives on Kings Road, Wilmslow.

Designed by Glasgow-based architects ZM Architecture and specialist water-based architects Baca Limited of London, the site will create 450 jobs and transform the basin into a floating community with shops, offices, houses, restaurants, a marina and a roof-top concert arena.

Allan McQuade, Business Infrastructure Director, Scottrish Enterprise, said: "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."

David and his team envisage a new canal with a floating roadway leading to office buildings, studio flats and town houses with their own private moorings.

There are plans for a green, car-free base with recycling collected by barge.

To encourage the use of the river for transport and recreational use, the offices and residential units will be marketed with a range of ‘pool' boats which residents will be able to book online.  

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