Plans to transfer a 150-acre site in Bowling to West Dunbartonshire Council have been welcomed by the UK Government Minister for Scotland and Scotland’s Transport Minister.

The former Exxon-owned site is currently undergoing extensive works to prepare it to be used for a £34 million project to create a major industrial and commercial development in the area.

An alternative route in and out of West Dunbartonshire is also being planned for the site.

UK Government Minister for Scotland, Iain Stewart, said: “This is a welcome step forward for the Bowling site project. It’s vital that as our economy reopens, we continue to progress essential projects like this to attract new businesses to the area and create jobs.

“I am pleased the UK Government is supporting this project through its £523 million investment in the Glasgow City Region Deal. The UK Government has committed over £1.4 billion to city and growth deals across Scotland, promoting opportunities, creating jobs and attracting further investment.”

During a meeting with WDC, council members were asked to consider a commercial deal with current owners ExxonMobil, and following discussion, the oil giants gave officers approval to progress the transfer of the site running from Eastfield near Scotts Yard at Bowling Harbour, all the way to Westfield and Sheepfold at Glasgow Road, Milton without cost.

Of the 150 acres, 45 acres will be developable land, and a further 2 acres will be used for the proposed new road. The Council will also receive £1million from ExxonMobil.

Council officers will now begin negotiations with surrounding landowners regarding the transfer of their land ownership to enable the wider development.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson, added: “I am pleased that West Dunbartonshire Council has taken on ownership of this site, helping to pave the way for a £34 million project that will deliver vital jobs.

“This project, supported by the Scottish Government’s overall commitment of £500 million to the Glasgow City Region Deal’s Infrastructure Investment Programme, is a welcome step forward during these uncertain times and will be crucial for Scotland’s economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.”

James Hadwen, manager for the remediation project at Esso’s Bowling site, said: “We welcome the decision, which is a considerable step towards the redevelopment of the Bowling site for future beneficial use.

"We look forward to completing the voluntary remediation of the site as part of the proposed sale.

"The Bowling site forms a key part of the council’s ambitious vision for regeneration in the area as part of the Glasgow City Region City Deal and will bring substantial economic benefits such as new business and employment opportunities.”