Firth of Clyde Marine Spatial Plan


This is a pilot marine spatial plan, developed for the Firth of Clyde in Scotland, as part of a number of pilots to inform the development of marine planning in Scotland.

Sea Basin(s): 
Application in MSP: 
Applied in an MSP process
Not sector specific
Type of Issue: 
Economic aspects
Environment aspects
Social aspects
Type of practice: 
Pilot plan
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Vision and aims
Analyse spatial aspects
Develop and implement plan
Cross-border / trans-national aspect: 

Questions this practice may help answer

  • How can sectors be developed sustainably in the Firth of Clyde?
  • What information is available to support the planning and licensing of marine activities in the Firth of Clyde?
  • How can it be ensured that developments are undertaken in line with national policy?

Implementation Context


This pilot project is one of a number around Scotland, set up under the Scottish Government’s Scottish Sustainable Marine Environment Initiative (SSMEI). Results from these pilots will help inform the future development of MSP in Scotland under the localised statutory planning system under the Marine (Scotland) Act. Therefore the experiences from the production of this final plan in 2010, based on voluntary organisation, regulators and public consultation will be of use in informing the future development of this diverse marine area and the communities that it supports.


Aspects / Objectives

  • Establish an overarching policy framework to facilitate the sustainable development of activities within the Firth of Clyde.
  • Provide a plan-led approach to the management of the Firth of Clyde
  • Enable long-term protection and sustainable use of the marine environment



The activities directly associated with Plan development were:

  • Information and Data gathering (including Environmental Baseline Report; Socio-economic Review; Review of Biodiversity; Indicative
  • Seabed Habitat Mapping; Landscape/Seascape Assessment; and collation of GIS data)
  • Stakeholder Engagement (including Sectoral Workshops; Sectoral Interactions Study; and public consultation on the draft Plan)
  • Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) (including preparation of Scoping Report and Environment Report)


Main Outputs / Results

Report available online at: 



The project focussed specifically on the Firth of Clyde but is informative for the development of MSP elsewhere, particularly in Scotland.


Responsible Entity

Clyde Forum.


Costs / Funding Source

£200,000 Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), LEADER Plus


Contact Person

Isobel Glasgow

Chair, Clyde forum