AN AMBITIOUS plan to bring marine manufacturing back to the Upper Clyde will generate almost 1,000 new jobs.

Malin Group, a Glasgow-based marine engineering company whose Clydeside roots go back to the Victorian era, plans to create a hub at Old Kilpatrick, an unemployment blackspot.

The Scottish Marine Technology Park will be developed on a derelict 47-acre site, formerly the Carless oil storage facility.

The Post first reported last October how the Malin Group had taken ownership of the large brownfield site.

The announcement, made yesterday, confirmed the company’s ambitions for the site, which will be subject to planning approval.

Unlike locations further up-river, the site is zoned for industrial use and will have direct access to a deep-water channel via a 80m long deep-water quayside berth with heavy-lift facilities.

Malin Group managing director John MacSween said he believed the hub would be a “magnet” for marine engineering and technology organisations and “a centre of excellence” for the sector.

Malin commissioned respected land development and infrastructure consultants Peter Brett Associates (PBA) to carry out an economic impact assessment of the development.

The findings make happy reading for West Dunbartonshire, which has an unemployment rate of 4.9 per cent compared with the Scottish average of 3.9 per cent.

PBA envisages the creation of 986 jobs, if the plan is fully realised, and £125.4million added to West Dunbartonshire’s economy each year.

The construction phase of the project will mean more than 600 additional short-term jobs.

Mr MacSween said: “We’ve been working in the shipping industry for over 100 years and have a passion for the river and its history, but there is a need to be looking to the future to ensure the long-term success of the Clyde as a maritime centre of excellence.

“This development will be a magnet that will draw marine organisations to it, and it will ultimately become a centre of excellence for the sector.”