THE Scottish Government has been urged to help regeneration in a site left vacant by whisky giant Diageo when it closed its operation at Port Dundas.

Patricia Ferguson, Maryhill and Springburn MSP, asked Transport Minister Keith Brown if he would support plans for the site.

Mr Brown said the Government was investing in the canal network and would be looking to back regeneration proposals in the city and at Port Dundas with Diageo.

Earlier this week Local government Minister Derek Mackay agreed to include the canal projects in Glasgow in the National Planning Framework, giving the work along the waterway a boost.

Ms Ferguson and SNP MSP Bill Kidd asked Mr Brown about help for canalside projects during a question session in the Scottish Parliament.

She said: "The opportunities that exist along the Forth and Clyde Canal including particularly the redevelopment of the Diageo site would play a major economic factor in the area for at least the next ten years and this is a project that is well worth the commitment and the ambition of the partners involved."

Mr Brown agreed and said work was already ongoing like the Paddlesports centre at Pinkston nearby

Mr Kidd asked if the government would back plans for commercial and recreational opportunities to bring employment benefits.

Mr Brown said: "The work which has created all the regeneration activity including most recently the paddle sports centre has been done with other partners Glasgow City Council and Diageo and is leading to the situation where this very under exploited situation our canals in Scotland having fresh life breathed into them and of course the communities which are adjacent to them."