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W la porchetta d'Ariccia
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Into the Valley with business park project

HIGHCROSS, one of the country's leading investors in UK office and industrial markets, is about to unveil multi-million-pound plans for the development of what will be the second largest commercial and business park in Scotland.

It will be at the former IBM site at Greenock, which has been called Spango Valley – and has now been re-branded by Highcross as Valley Park.

IBM still occupies about 200,000sq ft on the 60-acre site – and Highcross's plans for the other 400,000sq ft have already brought in inquiries from potential occupiers.

Associate director Mark Evans, who heads the Newbury-based company's Scottish office in Glasgow, said: "We have kept our plans pretty well under wraps, but we are now ready to go.

"A full design team has been on board for over a year and we have been working closely with the local authority.

"The masterplan involves some demolition, redevelopment and some refurbishment to open up the space. There is a canteen and dedicated rail halt on site. We are currently in advanced stages of discussions with a number of occupiers to take space and hope to have something agreed within the coming weeks.

"Our aim is to open up the site to provide mixed-use commercial and business park facilities, which will offer a range of office and building space and industrial sites to meet the needs of existing companies in the Inverclyde area wishing to consolidate and expand and at the same time be attractive to incoming businesses."

Highcross acquired the site and three others down south from IBM in 2005 in a sale-and-lease-back deal for about £120 million. Last year, IBM declared a number of buildings within the Greenock park as surplus to requirements and exercised a number of break options in accordance with its lease.

Space in Valley Park will be available on a flexible and competitive basis, with 3,000sq ft and upwards in office and industrial space. Joint agents are Ryden and James McGee Greenock.

Highcross last year raised close to £1.5 billion, mostly from United States-based investors, with debt finance provided by the Royal Bank of Scotland and a syndicate of banks, for its third investment fund

Evans says: "We have a three-year investment period from September last year. We have a lot of work to do and we are looking for further opportunities."

From this third fund, it has paid £2 million for Wallace House, a five-storey modern office building in Stirling, which had been owned by a house-building firm that went into receivership. It has some sound tenants, including the Secretary of State for the Environment, and had a potential total annual income of about £320,000

In Edinburgh, and also from this fund, it paid Kenmore £7.76 million for two whisky bonds in Leith – the Bonnington Bond and the Sugar Bond, which have a total of 75,202sq ft. It was regarded as a key investment requirement with an opportunity to add value.

Both bonds have been refurbished, are partially occupied and are being made available at rents which reflect a market that is in the favour of tenants. Evans states: "We knew that it was going to be a tough market, which means that the deals we are offering are very competitive."

Rents for the two bonds have been around the £16 to £17 mark, but there is now a significant discount on this.

Peter Fleming, of agent Montagu Evans, said Highcross was a flexible landlord. He explained that a lot of tenants might find it difficult to get funding for fitting-out and said that providing this could be part of the deal, as well as reduced rents over an extended period.
The Scotsman
 

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W la porchetta d'Ariccia
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Work begins at site of new school

Work is under way on the demolition of Notre Dame High School in Greenock, to make way for its state-of-the art replacement.

The new 850-capacity Notre Dame building forms part of the £80m Inverclyde PPP Schools Project, and will also incorporate a Communication and Language base. The new school is due for completion in spring 2011.

Miller Construction (UK) Ltd, the main contractor for the schools was on site to begin demolition and excavation works on Monday 22nd June.

Councillor Iain McKenzie, Inverclyde Council’s education convener, said: “It is great news that work has begun on the demolition of the old Notre Dame High. It’s another big step towards the provision of a modern, state-of-the-art school that is fit for the 21st century.

“A lot of local people have fond memories of the old school building, which has served the community well for many years. However, our children deserve to learn in progressive, inspiring buildings that genuinely meet their needs, and the new school will certainly provide all that.”

Phil McVey, Director of developer e4i, added: “e4i is delighted with the progress that is being made in the delivery of the new schools for Inverclyde, and work on Bayhill, the fourth school in the project, will commence shortly. Aileymill and All Saints Primary Schools are on programme for completion as agreed with the Council.

“We are continuing to enjoy a close working relationship with the Council which is greatly contributing to the success of this project to date.”

Phil McDowell, Project Manager, Miller Construction, said: “It’s great for us to be starting on the third school in this project. These schools, aren’t just buildings, they are an integral part of the local community that will encourage learning and prosperity for the Inverclyde area. Work is well underway on the primary school provision and we have enjoyed excellent relationships to date with the teachers and pupils, which we hope will be replicated at Notre Dame.”

A team from Miller Construction recently donated their time, along with their supply chain partners Orr Decorators, to assist in the preparation of Wellington Street School which will be used as a temporary school for Notre Dame until completion of the new school in spring 2011.
Inverclyde Council
 

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Hipster Scum
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Yay, my neck of the woods. A lot of the IBM site is already in the process of being cleared.:)


I am livid by the decision to knock down the Notre Dame. Its a fine building.:(
 

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W la porchetta d'Ariccia
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

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W la porchetta d'Ariccia
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

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Hipster Scum
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What is it that they're trying to knock down indiekid?
I can't get a decent photo of the High School, but its the grandest building in the neighbourhood. The town's other 19th/early 20th schools have all been replaced over the last 40 years. The new proposal has been called "innovative" and "State of the Art", words spammed by the 60's planners in the past. By knocking down Notre Dame, they are repeating the same mistakes the idiots made back then.
 

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Hipster Scum
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Here's a rather romanticised image of Greenock. The photographer managed to omit the tower blocks. In the background is Victoria Tower, a rather impressive 75m tall.

 

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W la porchetta d'Ariccia
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A New £5 million railway station is set to be built in Gourock.

Network Rail has submitted plans to Inverclyde Council to replace the town’s dilapidated station with a terminal fit for the 21st century, above.

The announcement comes after years of wrangling over the future of the station.

The plans — which will also see a massive injection of cash for Wemyss Bay Station — have been warmly welcomed.

Gourock councillor Ronnie Ahlfeld said: “This should be the catalyst for the area’s regeneration.

“An initial plan to move the station is dead because the partners could not reach agreement. We could still have been talking about it 10 years from now. I’m delighted we are now moving forward with these plans.”

Network Rail wants to construct a new station building and train-operating facility, redesign the road layout to improve access to bus and taxi services, and demolish several redundant buildings.

Existing platforms would be renovated and there would be a new platform canopy, a covered walkway to the ferry terminal and the refurbishment of the north wall to include glazed sections offering unobstructed sea views.

Network Rail says the new station will greatly improve passenger facilities and better integrate road, rail and ferry links.

And it says it will also deliver a brighter, more welcoming environment for customers.

Network Rail director Ron McAulay said: “This is a significant investment in the future of Gourock which will bring real benefits for travellers and enhance the town and its transport facilities.

“In the current economic climate, with many organisations scaling back on investment projects and development plans, Network Rail is committed to continuing to improve the country’s rail network and will be spending nearly £3 billion across Scotland in the next five years.”

Wemyss Bay station is also to get renovation work costing £4m. Platform improvements at Port Glasgow were completed recently.

Inverclyde MP David Cairns said: “I’m pleased we now have firm proposals for a new railway station interchange facility for Gourock. I welcome this significant capital investment in Inverclyde’s infrastructure.”

Greenock and Inverclyde MSP Duncan McNeil added: “I welcome this level of investment in Inverclyde’s railway stations and I‘m delighted we are making progress.”
Greenock Telegraph
 

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Wow! Didn't know Greenock had such a building!
That's a shame, not enough people do! I worry that more people from overseas see Victoria tower than from people Scotland. Greenock has lot a of fine buildings, though they're often dwarfed this time of year by cruise liners. Today for example the Crown Princess is biggest ship ever to visit the Clyde, carrying over 3,000 passengers!



Here's neighbouring Gourock from Lyle Hill (in Greenock) at dusk. The aforementioned train station is located right at the pierhead.



I'll try get some pics of Notre Dame before she's sadly flattened.
 

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Hipster Scum
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Inverclyde could become more popular with commuters from Glasgow. A lot of nice architecture, stunning views over the clyde valley, and excellent accessibility to the city. The town centres have seen better days, but with proper regeneration that could change.
 

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W la porchetta d'Ariccia
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Today for example the Crown Princess is biggest ship ever to visit the Clyde, carrying over 3,000 passengers!
Earlier on, leaving Greenock Ocean Terminal





 

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Hipster Scum
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Masterplan for James Watt Dock. The plans involve the restoration of the Sugar Warehouse. A Grade A listed building, the warehouse has layed derelict for years, and was badly damaged by fire a few years ago. It will now be converted into apartments and possible commercial/retail space. Structural repairs are already underway. The plans also include a marina, surrounding apartment buildings, a visitor centre within the Titan Crane, and a 100-bed hotel. The overall cost will be £180 million, with over £400 million being spent on Inverclyde's waterfront as a whole.

Riverside Inverclyde: http://www.riversideinverclyde.com/

 

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Here's some pics of the condemned Notre Dame High School, formerly Cowdenknowes HS and the original Greenock HS. Also, the basement was home to Greenock's back-up telephone exchange during WW2.



 

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lime-hating shrublet
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Dumb question alert. As someone who lives about 200 miles south of the border, how does one say "Greenock"? I was talking to a friend about said town the other day and I was saying it like "Greeenock" and he was like "No, it's said "Grennock". So how am I supposed to pronounce it? :?

Oh, and how do you say "Gourock"?
 
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