Glasgow — With over 320,000 Scots looking for jobs, two major contracts from overseas countries have provided a significant industrial boost for Glasgow.
A (STR)37.5 million ($63.7 million) water-supply contract awarded by the Nigerian government to the Glasgow-based Lilley Construction company gives important impetus to the city's campaign to attract new investment. It follows other United Kingdom water projects designed to modernize and expand Nigerian rural water supplies.
A second significant development for Glasgow has been the opening by a Dutch company of a (STR)10 million ($17 million) activated carbon plant, the largest factory of its kind in the world. Based in the city's redeveloping east end, the Dutch Norit company has joined with the Scottish Development Agency and the European Investment Bank to promote a project that will produce 10,000 tons of carbon chemicals yearly.
Efforts have been made to control gas pollution from the factory, particularly since Glasgow and its sprawling east end complex of workshops and housing have become remarkably free of soot.
This care for the environment has been equalled by the British Steel Corporation's efforts to lease unused property in the east end to a variety of small businessmen, thus encouraging some laid-off steelworkers and entrepeneurs to create useful new trades.
Glasgow District Council, which has been involved in a major rehabilitation project in the east side, has launched a wide overseas campaign to bring to the city next year several million people of Glasgow or Scottish origin.
Many European civic workers appear greatly impressed with the city's efforts to stimulate job creation, better housing, landscaping, and community enterprise.
Some North Sea oil companies, including the Glasgow-based British National Oil Corporation, have been helping with social work here in the form of grants to help underprivileged children.
Overseas Scots in the United States and Canada are being reminded that the California-based Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth II cruise liner were built in Glasgow. The ''Welcome Home to Glasgow 1983'' project is being launched to coincide with the opening of the Burrell Art Gallery, a (STR)20 million project funded by a Scottish shipping magnate. It will contain a wide variety of paintings, tapestries, and art objects.
1983 is also the 200th anniversary of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, the oldest continuous chamber of its kind in the English-speaking world.
Although it still has many outstanding Victorian buildings, Glasgow boasts a number of recently built international hotels and is continually attracting new business and cultural events.