City Deal cash for Inverclyde confirmed
The first £30m of investment taking place as part of a City Deal worth more than £1bn has been confirmed for Inverclyde.
More than £14m will be spent expanding the quayside at Greenock's Ocean Terminal and building a state-of-the-art visitor centre.
The area will also benefit from about £9.4m being invested in a renewables hub at the Inchgreen dry dock.
And a further £4m will be spent on improvements to the A78 at Inverkip.
The projects are part of the £1.13bn Glasgow and Clyde Valley City Deal - which is backed with £500m of cash from each of the Scottish and UK governments, along with £130m from the eight local councils.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "The port at Greenock provides the gateway to Glasgow and the west coast of Scotland, and I am delighted that it may be one of the first beneficiaries of the city deal being supported by the Scottish government.
"This proposed investment in the Ocean Terminal would significantly expand cargo and cruise berthing facilities, creating and supporting local jobs.
"With passenger numbers at the terminal reaching more than 100,000 this year, this planned expansion will help cement Greenock's position as one of Europe's leading cruise liner terminals, which plays an important role in developing a thriving local economy."
Ms Sturgeon, who spoke as her cabinet visited the Inverclyde town, added: "The Scottish government recognises that cities and their regions are the engines of our economy, and we are working strategically with local authorities, such as Inverclyde, to unlock investment and stimulate growth.
"This proposed development at Greenock is just part of an infrastructure investment programme that can unlock benefits from more than £1.13bn in support being provided through what is the biggest city deal of its kind anywhere in the UK."
Inverclyde Council leader councillor Stephen McCabe said: "The cruise market through Greenock has grown substantially in recent years and sustaining that expansion is a crucial outcome of the project.
"With the expansion of the quayside and development of a new visitor facility, Greenock Ocean Terminal can continue to be a major economic and tourist boost locally in Inverclyde and in Scotland.
"The Glasgow and Clyde Valley City Deal project shows the key role local authorities play in working jointly with each other and both national governments to deliver the key infrastructure to further develop our areas."