Braehead

Braehead (Gaelic: Ceann a' Bhruthaich) is a commercial development located at the former site of Braehead Power Station on the south bank of the River Clyde in Renfrewshire. It is particularly notable for its large shopping centre, arena and leisure facilities.

Braehead forms part of the Renfrew Riverside and Scotstoun redevelopment area, a part of the wider Clyde Waterfront Regeneration project. The Braehead area includes:

  • an indoor shopping centre;
  • ice skating / curling facilities;
  • the Clydebuilt Scottish Maritime Museum;
  • the Braehead Arena - along with extensive covered and open-air car parking);
  • an Xscape adventure complex;
  • a small business park.
Braehead Shopping Centre

The shopping centre, which is owned by Capital Shopping Centres, opened in late 1999. It comprises 98,474 m2 (1,059,970 sq ft) of retail and leisure floorspace. The centre has 110 shops in the main covered mall, and a further 10 in a retail park of larger stores. Additionally, Braehead is also home to Renfrew's IKEA store which opened in 2001 and sits near the King George V Dock. At 29,000 m2 it is the largest in both Scotland and the United Kingdom. Since opening, the centre has proved popular with consumers (indeed it has been blamed for a downturn in the fortunes of shops in nearby Paisley, Govan and Renfrew, town centre . The shopping centre currently sponsors local Scottish Premier League side St Mirren F.C..

Sited within the same building as the shopping centre is the Braehead Arena and other facilities such as an ice rink. In 2000 its curling facilities hosted the World Championships, and in 2005 were used as training facilities when the Women's World Championships were being held in Paisley.

Further development

To the west of Braehead and adjacent to the town of Renfrew is the Renfrew Riverside area, where considerable residential development has recently taken place in recent years. Between the residential area and the Braehead Shopping Centre an Xscape complex, providing an indoor ski slope and other entertainments and leisure facilities opened in the Spring of 2006.

To the south of the shopping centre is a small development called Braehead Business Park, home to the global headquarters of Picsel Technologies, the Audi centre and the Porsche.

Transport

It can be reached from Junctions 25a (westbound) and 26 (eastbound) of the M8 motorway, and has extensive public transport connections including its own bus station, managed by Arriva. Buses run from many areas linking Braehead to Largs, Greenock, Paisley, Glasgow, Erskine and Johnstone. The Pride of the Clyde ferry service ran from Glasgow City Centre to Braehead's pier down the River Clyde regularly until October 2007.

Boundaries

Braehead was the subject of a boundary dispute between the Glasgow and Renfrew council areas, as originally the council boundary line divided the shopping centre in two. A Boundary Commission ruling eventually redrew the boundary to include all of the centre in Renfrew. The boundary runs along the side of Old Renfrew Road and is represented by a chain link fence at this point.

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