Plans to reintroduce public access and install a new quay wall along Glasgow’s riverside have been dropped due to “excessively high” costs.

A promenade and cycle path were proposed at Windmillcroft Quay, near the Barclays campus, on the south bank of the River Clyde, but the project has now been abandoned.

Council officials have reported the estimated shortfall between the available funding and the required budget “would have been in the region of £25 million”.

Money had been set aside from the Glasgow City Region City Deal — a £1 billion infrastructure scheme funded by both the UK and Scottish Governments — as well as contributions from homeowners in a private housing development along the riverside.

The whole scheme had initially been expected to cost around £18m, officials previously said. However, a procurement exercise found the price “significantly exceeding the project budget and estimated City Deal funding contribution”.

In a report to councillors, officials stated “unprecedented global events” have “impacted the construction sector in the past four years”. There has been inflation and cost volatility due to a range of factors, including the covid pandemic, Brexit, the Suez Canal blockage, the conflict in Ukraine and soaring energy costs.

A council spokesman said: “A decision has been made not to proceed with the project due to excessively high costs — and therefore no contract award will be made.

“These costs greatly exceed the available Glasgow City Region City Deal budget for the project. Throughout the design process a range of solutions were developed, assessed and re-appraised. 

“After full analysis of the site and its conditions, the current design solution was the only viable option for City Deal investment. Therefore, there is no further design work or procurement procedure to follow under the City Deal programme.”

The waterfront path at Windmillcroft Quay, where there is a 278-home private development, was closed in 2014 for safety reasons, leaving no riverside access for walkers or cyclists between Tradeston and Springfield Quay.

In 2020, the council accepted an offer of over £2m toward the project from homeowners and the development’s management company Speirs Gumley.

The project would have involved building a new wall out on the riverbed, parallel to the existing wall, creating a cycle route and walkway and reintroducing public access.

A contract notice was issued in February 2023 and two bids were received. However, the council concluded it had “not received a satisfactory tender response”.

The scheme would have also required a “large allowance of contingency funding to provide adequate security against site-specific, known and unknown, physical constraints and risks”.

A report added there was “no guarantee that the final outturn figure for the contract could be contained within this budget, thereby exposing the council to further possible financial risk”

The council spokesman added: “Whilst the quay wall and adjacent land are in private ownership, the council is open to working with relevant parties in the future to help find a solution to the Windmillcroft Quay situation.

“The works were due to be part-funded by the Glasgow City Region City Deal, as part of the £50m allocated through the City Deal to secure the integrity of the Clyde waterfront, consolidate the quay walls there, and activate the area.

“This £50m is part of wider City Deal funding for the West End & Waterfront, including projects such as the Govan-Partick Bridge and the Water Row — Phase 1 — joint project with Govan Housing Association, to develop the river corridor into an attractive urban quarter that creates jobs and economic growth and attracts investment.”