Principal Town: Greenock
Population (1991):
Area (hectares): 16724
Entry Updated: 09-JAN-2007
Local Authority Contact Information

Address: Inverclyde Council
Municipal Buildings
PA15 1LY

Covering a territory of 162 sq. km (63 sq. miles) in the west Central Lowlands, Inverclyde is bounded by the Firth of Clyde to the west and north, by Renfrewshire to the east and south, and by North Ayrshire to the south. Its main towns of Greenock, Port Glasgow and Gourock are on a coastal plain, and there are several holiday resorts on the west coast.

There is one main body of water, Loch Thom, which adjoins the Gryfe Reservoirs; the main river is the Gryfe Water which flows east to meet the River Clyde, and the highest point is Creuch Hill (441 m / 1447 feet). Its pleasant rural areas include remote upland moorland, small coastal settlements such as Inverkip and Wemyss Bay, and small inland settlements such as Kilmalcolm and Quarrier's Village.

Inverclyde is the third smallest council area in size, the eighth smallest in population and the ninth highest in density, with 68 per cent of its land used for agriculture, most of which is grassland and peatland. About one sixth of its territory is developed, primarily for urban use.

Inverclyde was created in 1996 as part of the Local Government reorganisation. Its area is the same as the earlier Inverclyde District Council (part of the pre-1996 Strathclyde Region) which was itself created in 1975 from the Burghs of Gourock, Greenock and Port Glasgow and from a part of the old county of Renfrewshire.
Inverclyde is a centre for the electronics and computer industries with several multinational and Scottish companies producing in the area, including IBM and NEC as well as local offshoots. Shipbuilding, once the major industry on the Forth of Clyde, has dwindled to one yard. The area has been hit hard by unemployment and a falling population but it retains strengths through its close proximity to the Glasgow conurbation and its access to Glasgow International Airport. Other former industries included sugar-refining and ropemaking.

Tourism is increasingly important to Inverclyde; the most popular attractions include Lunderston Bay, Cornalees Bridge Centre (in the 259 sq. km - 100 sq. mile - Clyde-Muirshiel Park) and Finlaystone Estate outside of Port Glasgow. The launch of the 'Cutty Sark Tall Ships Race' will be held at Greenock in July 1999. Other attractions are at Greenock, Port Glasgow, Gourock and Wemyss Bay.

References and Further Reading
Stevenson, Jack (1995) Exploring Scotland's Heritage: Glasgow, Clydeside and Stirling. Second Edition, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and HMSO, Edinburgh
Walker, Frank Arneil (1986) South Clyde Estuary: An Illustrated Architectural Guide to Inverclyde and Renfrew. Scottish Academic Press and the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, Edinburgh

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