A waterfront site in Glasgow is to be given a £23million makeover.

The SECC has pulled off a major multi-million coup for a new multi-storey car park on the banks of the Clyde.

Canada Life is to spend £23.3m on building the 1600-car hub and leasing it for 35 years before selling it on to council chiefs in Glasgow for just £1.

The insurance and investment giant will make a profit on the big-money deal. The car park is to be managed by the council-owned City Parking which will pay undisclosed annual rental charges to Canada Life over the lifetime of the lease.

And the deal means SECC chiefs will get a new car park which will have walkway links to Scotland's top entertainments venue as well as their new £125m Hydro Arena and a hotel to be built nearby.

Work on the Anderston car park is already under way and it is expected to be operational by this time next year. A new footbridge is also being built which will link the hub with the Hydro and hotel.

SEC are the owners of the SECC who are also building the Hydro which will rival London's O2 Arena and New York's Madison Square Garden with seating for 12,000 spectators.

Property specialists Knight Frank represented Canada Life with investment associate Andrew Shiells commenting: "SEC has exciting plans to create a world-renowned conference and entertainment venue on the SECC site and the car park will be integral to its operation and success."

Michael White of Canada Life added: "We are delighted to be working with SEC and Glasgow City Council in funding the expansion of facilities and the continued success of the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre.

"We believe this method of funding is an innovation for private finance to work within the public sector and yet leaves the intrinsic real estate value with the council. We hope to complete many more similar projects."

It's also been confirmed that Canada Life has put in place an arrangement which gives Glasgow City Council has an option to purchase the ground lease for just £1 after 35 years.

John Sharkey, chief executive of the SECC, said: "This is yet another key stage in the ongoing development of the SECC site and the new car park will be perfectly positioned for the SECC, Clyde Auditorium and the Hydro alike - further enhancing the expectations for visitors to what will be a premier business and leisure destination for Glasgow and Scotland."

The car park will open around the same time as work is completed on the Hydro which will be able to bring the world's top acts, such as Sir Elton John, to Glasgow. It will be big enough to host major comedy stars and sports events such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship which is the world's biggest cagefighting promotion.

Mr Sharkey has said repeatedly that the new entertainments arena will be one of the world's best entertainment venues which will have the same impact on the concerts and events markets as the Clyde Auditorium did for conference business when it opened 15 years ago.

gordon.thomson@ eveningtimes.co.uk