Clyde Gateway (URC) [Primer #1]

Clyde Gateway Area map

Clyde Gateway (URC) [Primer #1]


Urban Regeneration Companies and the government

Urban Regeneration Companies (URCs) are organisations that combine the economic and political interests of the private sector and  the local state; they are established by national governments but are run at ‘arms-length’ from the elected powers that first incorporated them. As such, URCs reflect a general shift in British politics that began in the mid 1970s. This period saw rapid de-industrialisation of the economy, and consequently the move away from a redistributive, cohesion-oriented, centralised form of state led capitalism and towards a more entrepreneurial ethos. Local and national government now enhance and enable the position of corporate capital, allowing private business interests to participate in both the ideological direction and the day-to-day activities of governing society and space.


Glasgow’s East End is being re-shaped according to the needs of capital investment. A key consequence for residents is that their sense of belonging and security is no longer prioritised, despite the promotion of Clyde Gateway as a community oriented organisation. This tension becomes apparent in the words of jubilant local councillors and MSPs following Clyde Gateway’s incorporation in December2007. At one and the same time Clyde Gateway is described as being “all  about people…bringing about genuine regeneration…enhancing life chances..bringing substantial social and economic benefits for thousands of people”. It is also described as “wholescale[sic] transformation of the area…removing barriers to market opportunities and securing major private sector investment”.


In 2007, the Scottish Government published Best Practice in Establishing Urban

Regeneration Companiesin Scotland. It suggests:

“The emphasis of Scottish URCs is on their “catalytic” abilities.The Companies are expected to deliver outcomes across economic, social and environmental as well as physical regeneration”. In other words, they are set up to facilitate business development through urban redevelopment.


 Clyde Gateway UrbanRegenerationCompany (CGURC)


The Scottish Government setup Clyde Gateway in December 2007. It is a Limited Company, as well as being termed an Urban Regeneration Company, it is also listed as an Arms-Length External Organisation(ALEO)by Glasgow City Council. Regeneration Companies resemble the Urban Development Corporation model set up by the Thatcher Government in the early 1980s. This model brings public and private funding together with the aim of attracting the construction of business premises, and sometimes housing to a region, city or town. To illustrate this, the description of ClydeGateway URC given toCompanies House is:


A group engaged to develop large sections of the East End of Glasgow extending into

Shawfield and Rutherglen in South Lanarkshire. A registered charity, limitedby guarantee”.


Public funding of Clyde Gateway and its commitment to social housing


Whilst Clyde Gateway themselves are not a construction firm, they are there to facilitate investment. Their 20year plan is to:


“create 21,000 new jobs, construct 10,000 new homes, increase the population by 20,000 and deliver £1.5 billion of private sector investment”.


However, upon closer examination of their annual financial statements, the organisation appears to operate on a rolling basis of two to three years. In 2009, the financial statement refers to “agreeing a three year operating plan”[1].In 2012, Clyde Gateway Developments Limited reflects on the confirmation of funding from the Scottish Government and their accumulated reserves, and suggest “the directors have a reasonable expectation that Clyde Gateway Developments Limited has sufficient resources to continue its regeneration activities during this two year period”[2].


We made enquiries with Clyde Gateway in early 2013 about the publicly-stated aim of having 10,000 housing units built during the organisation’s 20year lifespan. We were told that the figure of 10,000 was “aspirational”, and that it was raised to secure government funding. As we have already said, Clyde Gateway is itself incorporated by the Scottish Government, and funding continues to be provided by Scottish Government and Glasgow and South Lanarkshire Councils. When asked about the Scottish Government’s responsibility in this area In November 2013, Regeneration Investment Manager for the Scottish Government, Billy Love, suggested that as far as housing provision in Clyde Gateway’s remit area was concerned, Glasgow City Council as the strategic housing authority are not providing any funding for the provision of houses. He describes the aim of Clyde Gateway below:


“[to]bring derelict/vacant and contaminated land back into use[3].That in turn would stimulate the introduction of new jobs and subsequent investment by the private sector and in doing so attract house builders[…]The majority of thiswould be private sector–owner occupied homes.”[4]


With no long term planning onthe table,we would say it is more a question of ‘if’ these homes are built. Furthermore,there is no indication by Clyde Gateway that long-term planning for Social Housing is a priority for them.


While the Commonwealth Games is related to the Clyde Gateway project, they are not the same thing. Initially 1,400 homes were promised for the Games Village, but this has been revised downwards. 700 houses are being built in the “first phase”, and one manager at Clyde Gateway has said he “can’t say  when the second phase will even begin, far less completed”. City Legacy have recently told us that the first phase will create 400 socially rented houses and 300 for private sale, and that “Phase 2 will not commence until sales of the 300 units are well underway”.


In other words, this is a market-led programme of public subsidy and there is no guarantee that it will pay off–it is a gamble.We made enquiries in January 2013 about a revised figure for housing units to be built under Clyde Gateway’s tenure, and again in October, and the answer both times was that the housing targets were being looked at, and no figure has been forthcoming. In their 2012-13 Annual Report, Clyde Gateway suggested that by 31st March 2013 a total of 1189 housing units had been constructed. This number includes private housing.


Clyde Gateway has suggested the number of social housing units built or refitted in their remit are a since they started in 2007 is 853,based on the following breakdown, provided by ClydeGateway:


Camlachie(West of Scotland)- 169
Games Village (Thenue/GHA/West of Scotland)- 400
Oatlands(GHA/Link Housing)- 213
Bridgeton:Baltic St/RubySt/MainSt/DunnSt/Rumford St(ThenueHA) 71


Whilst Games Monitor continues to look intothese figures, the larger point that needs tobe made is that these numbers do not reflect a serious attempt at addressingthehousing

crisis, nor do they reflect the amount of public money that Clyde Gateway is receiving. We

are asking local and national governments to compare the amount of public subsidy received by Clyde Gateway with the paltry figures of new homes built during their time and ask: when are they going to take the housing crisis seriously?


Public bodies have so far given Clyde Gateway over £163million in grants. The company is planned to continue until 2028, which means that if investment rates remain at a similar level, not factoring in inflation, we can expect this total to rise to well over £500million. Yet housing in itself is simply not a priority, and the housing that is being built is predominantly for private ownership.  We might speculate that the type of regeneration delivered by Clyde Gateway is less about “ enhancing life chances…bringing substantial social and economic benefits for thousands of people” and more about bringing people into the debt economy through mortgage repayments and unaffordable market rate rents. Games Monitor will be looking in more detail at Housing Associations in another primer, given that Housing Associations in their scale and rationale increasingly resemble market-driven private entities.


We also know that Glasgow City Council has spent public money on what it calls“land preparation” in Dalmarnock and Rutherglen whereby the public purse is used to cover the massive cost of cleaning some of the most polluted land in Glasgow, in order that it is ready for private land developers to go in and start building business premises. This is a well- known process of‘ public pain, private gain’– a socialisation of risk, and privatisation of profit.


Some closing thoughts

Local and national governments now share the dogma of the private sector; the rationale behind decision-making is to monetise as much space in as little time as possible. This means opening up housing to market interests, reducing the availability of social housing, and pushing people into the private sector, where they are forced to increase their personal debt. This allows the international financial system the leverage to acquire more and more capital and take increasingly risky actions in doing so. This logic brought about the Subprime Mortgage Crisis in America. In the wake of the financial crisis which started as a result, we have seen austerity measures across Europe which have created poverty and despairfor millions of people.


Clyde Gateway has received £163 million of public funds (to 2013), and the Commonwealth Games is costing £523 million(see primer# 6 in this booklet).Where is the commitment to the social necessity of Housing? It is time residents were able,not only to challenge decision makers on these processes, but to plan and claim material ownership over their communities. Alternatives to market-led housing exist in Britain. Housing cooperatives and Community Land Trusts have been the legacy of anti-gentrification campaigns[5]. These gains are hard won through the actions of well-organised, tenacious residents groups who have an independent voice from local government and the organisations setup by local government to represent communities.




[1]Clyde Gateway consolidated financial statement to 31s t March 2009 [2] Clyde Gateway Developments Limited Annual Accounts 2011–12

[3]It is also important to add here that the pervasive narrative put forward that Dalmarnock was, prior to the Clyde Gateway’s intervention ‘derelict land’, in fact it was the site of community of people,there were residential properties,a GP surgery,shops and the only day facility in the East End for people with additional support needs and their carers to seek respite.This was the site of key services in the community which were compulsory purchased, demolished andnow liederelict ortarmacked over.


[4]Letter from Billy Love, Housing Regeneration and Welfare Directorate, the Scottish



[5]Staying Put: An Anti-Gentrification Handbook for Council Estates in London. Produced by LondonTenants Federation, LorettaLees, JustSpace and Southwark Notes ArchiveGroup. Availabletodownload from:





Appendix 1 -Funding


Below is a breakdown of the capital grant funding Clyde Gateway has received from different public authorities since 2007,as published in their own annual reports. The Clyde Gateway website suggests that public money will “pave the way for a further £1.5 billion in private development over the next two decades”.[1]


Scottish Government grant funding (million)


2007 –09 £13.666
2009 –10 £26.176
2010 –11 £15.405


2011 –12 £13.057
2012 –13 £21.502
2013–14(projected) £31.205
Total to 2103 £121.011





Scottish Enterprise grant funding (million)



2007 –09 £3.348
2009 –10 £4.8
2010- 11 £8.252
2011- 12 £6.8

2012 –13

Not mentioned asa funderin this period


Not mentioned asa funderin this period
Total to 2013 £23.2



Glasgow City Council grant funding (million)

2007 –09 £0.036
2009 –10 £0.005
2010 –11 £2.238
2011 –12 £1.703
2012 –13 £3.045
2013–14(projected) £2.760
Total to 2013 £9.787



South Lanarkshire Council (million)

2007 –09 £0.040

2009 –10

Not mentioned as fundersin thisperiod

2010 –11

Not mentioned as fundersin thisperiod
2011 –12 £0.516
2012–13 £1.050
2013–14(projected) £1.815
Total to 2013 £3.421


European Regional Development Fund (million)

2007 –09 Not mentioned as

fundersin thisperiod


2009 –10

Not mentioned as fundersin thisperiod
2010 –11 £0.314
2011 –12 £0.671
2012 –13 £0.175
2013–14(projected) £4.028
Total to 2013 £5.188



Other Capital Grant Funding from charities, public bodies (Including the Heritage Lottery

Fund, theForestry Commission, Glasgow City Heritage Trust,Sport Scotland)

2007 –09 Not mentioned as

fundersin thisperiod

2009 –10 £0.042

2010 –11

Not mentioned as fundersin thisperiod
2011 –12 £0.229
2012 –13 £0.607

2013 –14

Not mentioned as fundersin thisperiod
Total to 2013 £0.878

Grand Total to 2013           £163.485.00 




















Appendix 2

Number of housing units newly built or acquired in Clyde Gateway’s area to March 2014 since Clyde Gateway started in December 2007. Unless otherwise stated, these are figures provided by Clyde Gateway in email correspondence with Games Monitor. The figures have not been independently verified. Games Monitor and Clyde Gateway are not in agreement over the exact figure.


Social Housing Units


Housing Association                                Area of Clyde Gateway remit                     Number of units acquired or built


Thenue HA                                   Ruby St; Dunn St;

Rumford St; Baltic St;                                      71


West of Scotland HA [2]          Camlachie                                                           169


Link Housing                                 Richmond Gate, Oatlands                            subject to ongoing research


Games Village                             Dalmarnock                                                        400

(Thenue/ GHA/


          Total:         640


Private build units

Developer Area Numberofunitsbuilt
KeirHomes Belvidere, Parkhead 302

Bett Homes[3]

Richmond Gate, Oatlands  


Total   835



Total number of houses built or refitted in Clyde Gateway’s remit area to March 2014 since Clyde Gateway started in December 2007  [not including Social Housing Provision for Oatlands development] =   1475


Notes for Appendixes




[2]Colin Turnbull, Director of Operations, West of Scotland Housing Association.Personal email 23rd December 2013


[3]Email from Bett Homes, Oatlands Sales team April 23rd 2014