MARINE services company Malin Group has been granted planning permission for a manufacturing hub on the River Clyde – creating almost 1,000 jobs.

The Glasgow-based engineering company with a worldwide operation whose Clydeside roots go back to the Victorian era, want to create the hub at Old Kilpatrick.

And the planning consent has been granted by West Dunbartonshire Council for phase one of the Scottish Marine Technology Park (SMTP) in the shadow of the Erskine Bridge.

This includes a large fabrication facility, consent for a deep-water jetty with a 1100Te ship hoist - the largest of its kind in Scotland - and a remediation strategy required to develop the former oil storage site.

If fully realised, an economic impact study has found the SMTP will result in 986 new jobs which is good news for West Dunbartonshire – which has an unemployment rate of 4.9 per cent compared with the Scottish average of 3.9 per cent.

John MacSween, Malin Group managing director, said: “We are pleased and excited to have planning permission for the first batch of buildings and quayside equipment.

"It is an important step on the journey, and it clearly demonstrates a willingness from the local authority to have industrial businesses, and the employment they bring with them, back on the Clyde riverside with the presence of exciting structures for the marine environment.

"We believe the Clyde has much to offer to the wider marine manufacturing community again and we are committed to making land and marine facilities available to any companies who can make use of them on a fair and equitable basis.

"As a show of faith, we will be bringing our own fabrication division to the SMTP to kick start the development."

The SMTP will be built on a long-derelict 47-acre site, formerly the Carless oil storage facility which suffered extensive damage during WW2.

Unlike locations further up-river which are being developed for housing and leisure facilities, the site is land zoned for industrial use.

The plan is also estimated to add £125.4m annually to West Dunbartonshire’s economy.

Mr MacSween added: “The heritage of the Clyde is something of which we should all be rightly proud. We have been working in the shipping industry for well 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.

“There are already great examples of this in the form of what is being done at BAE Systems and, despite its issues, at Ferguson Marine in the shipbuilding sector. Training and ship-management too are very well represented, and the Department of Naval Architecture at Strathclyde University is a world class centre for research and learning in the marine sector.

“What we are looking to achieve at Old Kilpatrick is to complement these activities and bring other marine clients, companies and interests here. I believe this development will be a magnet that will draw marine organisations to it, and that it will ultimately become a centre of excellence for the sector.”