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MV Kyles, a diesel powered "Clyde puffer", on the River Clyde at Braehead shopping centre.

Braehead (Scots: Braeheid,[1][2] Gaelic: Ceann a' Bhruthaich) is a commercial development located at the former site of Braehead Power Station in Renfrew on the south bank of the River Clyde in Renfrewshire. It is particularly notable for its large shopping centre, arena and leisure facilities.

The shopping centre was rebranded as Intu Braehead in 2013 as part of a corporate rebranding exercise by Capital Shopping Centres plc, now known as intu Properties plc.[3]

Braehead power station[edit]

The power station was built after World War II. It remained operational into the 1980s, being demolished in the 1980s/1990s.[citation needed]

Renfrew Riverside redevelopment[edit]

Braehead forms part of the Renfrew Riverside redevelopment area, a part of the wider Clyde Waterfront Regeneration project. The Braehead area includes:

Braehead Shopping Centre[edit]

Intu Braehead
Intu Braehead.png
Location Renfrewshire, Scotland
Coordinates 55°52′34″N 4°21′53″W / 55.875987°N 4.364843°W / 55.875987; -4.364843Coordinates: 55°52′34″N 4°21′53″W / 55.875987°N 4.364843°W / 55.875987; -4.364843
Opening date 1999
Owner Intu Properties
No. of stores and services 110
Total retail floor area 98,474 m2 (1,059,970 sq ft)
No. of floors 2
Interior of the shopping centre

The shopping centre opened in late 1999. It comprises 98,474 m2 (1,059,970 sq ft) of retail and leisure floorspace.[4] The centre has 110 shops in the main covered mall, and a further 10 in a retail park of larger stores. Braehead is also home to Renfrew's IKEA store which opened in 2001 and sits near the King George V Dock. At 29,000 m2 it is the largest in both Scotland and the United Kingdom. Since opening, the centre has proved popular with consumers (indeed it has been blamed for a downturn in the fortunes of shops in nearby Paisley, Govan and Renfrew, town centre.

Sited within the same building as the shopping centre is the Braehead Arena and other facilities such as an ice rink. In 2000 its curling facilities hosted the World Championships, and in 2005 were used as training facilities when the Women's World Championships were being held in Paisley.

On 7 October 2011, a father was stopped by security and questioned by police under anti-terror legislation after photographing his daughter at an ice-cream stall. This resulted in a social media backlash and statements from both Braehead's management and Strathclyde Police.[5]

A planning application has been submitted to Renfrewshire Council for 'permission in principle' to build a new mixed-use development at the centre in January 2013.[6]

Further development[edit]

To the west of Braehead and adjacent to the town of Renfrew is the Renfrew Riverside area. Between the residential area and the shopping centre an Xscape complex, providing an indoor ski slope and other entertainments and leisure facilities opened in early 2006.

To the south of the shopping centre is a small development called Braehead Business Park.


It can be reached from Junctions 25a (westbound) and 26 (eastbound) of the M8 motorway, and has extensive public transport connections including its own bus station. Buses run from many areas linking Braehead to Largs, Greenock, Paisley, Glasgow, Erskine and Johnstone. The Pride of the Clyde ferry service ran from Glasgow City Centre to Braehead's pier down the River Clyde regularly until October 2007.


Braehead was the subject of a boundary dispute between the Glasgow and Renfrewshire council areas, as originally the council boundary line divided the shopping centre in two. A Boundary Commission ruling eventually redrew the boundary to include all of the centre in Renfrewshire as this was the original ancient boundary.[7] The boundary runs along the side of Old Renfrew Road and is represented by a chain link fence at this point.


  1. ^ The Online Scots Dictionary
  2. ^ Scots Language Centre: Scottish Place Names in Scots
  3. ^ intu group. "Timeline/2010s". Retrieved 2015-03-17. 
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "Row over photo in shopping centre". BBC News. 10 October 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  6. ^ "Braehead Shopping Centre - Glasgow Skating". Retrieved 25 October 2013. 
  7. ^ "Glasgow MSPs lose Braehead battle". BBC News. 7 May 2002. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 

External links[edit]