Construction on Clydebank’s new high-tech heating system using water from the Clyde has officially started.

The £15million project, a key part of the regeneration at Queens Quay, will see homes, businesses and some public buildings heated by river water.

Work has been underway for months to prepare the wider site and last week, councillors cut the first sod for the “energy centre” itself.

Contractors will also begin the process of laying pipework which will transport the water into homes and businesses.

Councillor Iain McLaren, convener for infrastructure, regeneration and economic development, cut the first sod with Clydebank Waterfront councillor and vice convener of the committee, Marie McNair, as well as other ward councillors and project partners.

Cllr McNair said: “The people of Clydebank will see the benefits of this pioneering project for generations to come.

“The system has been designed to not only serve the developments at Queens Quay but has the potential to serve businesses and houses further afield.

“It will also make a major contribution towards the council’s climate change targets to reduce CO2 emissions.

“As well as environmental advantages, users will enjoy the benefit of lower bills, with a system that requires far less upkeep than a gas boiler would.

“It’s a great investment in our community and I look forward to seeing the project come to life.”

West Dunbartonshire Council will meet 60 per cent of the cost of the system, with the Scottish Government funding £6million through the European Regional Development Fund.

A number of public buildings including Clydebank Leisure Centre, the new Queens Quay care home and health centre and the council’s offices at Aurora House, Titan Business Centre, the town hall and Clydebank Library will be heated by the system.

It also has the potential to heat West College Scotland and the Golden Jubilee Hospital.

The system will be owned, operated and maintained by the council.

Vital Energi was selected to deliver the system and Muir Group is the construction partner.