A project to regenerate vacant land along the River Clyde has been handed over to councils by the Scottish Government.

The Clyde Mission regeneration programme with £40m of funding aims to identify land and attract investment along the ‘Clyde corridor’ from Lanarkshire through Glasgow to the mouth of the river at Inverclyde and Argyll.

Humza Yousaf handed over the responsibility for the scheme to the eight councils in the Glasgow city region.

He said it would empower local councils to make decisions that affect their area.

The First Minister said: “As Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow’s success is fundamental to our success as a nation and our drive to create a wellbeing economy that is fair, green and growing.

“When Glasgow grows, Scotland grows - and by working in partnership with a stronger city region, we will make sure we realise its economic potential.

“We are transferring responsibility over the running of Clyde Mission from the Scottish Government to empower the city region, helping to attract new investment, create jobs and deliver prosperity and wellbeing for communities from Argyll to the Clyde Valley.”

The Government has given another £1.5m to the project which is billed as a huge opportunity for development by recognising and using the land immediately adjacent to the River Clyde as a national, strategic asset.

Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, is also the Chair of the Glasgow City Region Cabinet, which will oversee the project.

She said: “This is a major step forward in the devolution of power to Scotland’s biggest city region, the only genuine metropolis in these islands north of Manchester.

“The handover to the eight local authorities of the responsibility to progress what remains the greatest untapped development opportunity in western Europe, provides many of the levers we need to address growth, productivity and the wellbeing of the 1.8 million citizens of the City Region, and to tackle the ingrained social and economic inequalities within many of Scotland’s most deprived communities.”