Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative One Year On

The Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative is now just over a year old. We certainly can’t say it has been a dull year – a rollercoaster certainly but far from dull!

Govan No. 3 dry dock
Govan No. 3 dry dock depth marker

Since incorporating in June 2015 our efforts have received over £110,000 worth of pro-bono / speculative work and services in kind.

To those who have helped us out we can’t possibly begin to thank-you enough and over the next 12 months we aim to step up our efforts to save and restore Govan’s unique, historic graving docks.

We have also managed to exceed 7,300 signatures on the petition for a maritime heritage park at Govan Graving Docks – a proposal CDPI was established primarily to pursue.

We have also identified other derelict maritime assets along the Clyde corridor that are opportune for restoration/preservation for the benefit of local communities and the economy of the region.

Our priority though is Govan Graving Docks and we are working with a planning consultant on the process of developing a masterplan for a maritime park that will have wide-ranging benefits and opportunities for Govan and Glasgow, for the Clyde Corridor and for young people from the area. We aim to have a plan ready to present to Glasgow City Council by 2020 at the latest.

There is uncertainty ahead with the outcome of the EU referendum. Though on the plus side, with the impact it appears to be having on the property market and investor confidence, we can say with some certainty that the plans of developers for housing at the graving docks are now very likely dead in the water.

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If you would like to support the work of The Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative, by making a one off or regular donation, you can do so via PayPal. Please contact us if you prefer to pay by cheque or bank transfer.


Call for a Public Inquiry Into Govan Graving Docks

We are calling on the Scottish Government, The Secretary of State for Scotland and The Lord Advocate to launch a full public inquiry into Govan Graving Docks.

We have reason to suspect that Glasgow City Council and certain Council members are preparing an agenda to railroad through the plans of housing developers despite overwhelming public opposition to housing development at the site.

The Petition

Please sign the petition calling for a public inquiry at

The dry docks at Govan – Govan Graving Docks – were completed in the late nineteenth century with the last one to be built, the large dock nearest to Govan Road, opening on 27th April 1898.

Commissioned by James Deas, the Chief Engineer of the Clyde Navigation Trust, No. 1 dry dock and No. 3 dry dock were the deepest dry docks in Britain when opened and could accommodate the largest ships in the world of the time. They pre-date the former burgh of Govan being incorporated into the City of Glasgow. The docks were used to repair and refit hundreds of Clydebuilt ships and were in active use until the late 1980s.

Since closing down the site has lain derelict and for much of that time it has continued to lie derelict and deteriorating in the ownership of several connected companies.

The walls of the dry docks are built from grey granite some of which is hand carved and are category A-listed. The only remaining building on the site is the sandstone pump house for No.1 dry dock. Also an A-listed building it is in poor condition with only the walls and a few roof beams remaining. Govan Graving Docks is a significant piece of Glasgow’s shipbuilding and maritime heritage and is the only major historic dock complex on the Upper Clyde that has not been filled in to make way for modern redevelopments.

We are now calling on the Scottish Government to initiate a full and thorough public inquiry into the status and ownership history of Govan Graving Docks since their closure in 1988.

An inquiry must also look at the role of Glasgow City Council (and historically at Glasgow District and Strathclyde Region councils) in failing to help secure the site despite several proposals for maritime museum or similar restorations having been put forward since 1989.

It has been claimed that the chance to create a world-class maritime heritage centre at Govan Graving Docks during the 1990s was actively discouraged and prevented by government and development agencies. If this is the case we need answers. We need to know which agencies blocked this (and why) and individuals need to be held to account for their actions. We need to know if such behaviour is still going on today.

We need to know why such a significant piece of Glasgow’s maritime and industrial heritage has been allowed to lie derelict for so long in the hands of seemingly undercapitalised developers while a mortgage on the site has been passed into the Irish Banks NAMA toxic debt portfolio.

We need to know why for years the regulations on maintenance of listed buildings have not been adhered to at Govan Graving Docks and why title deed conditions requiring maintenance of the quay walls also appear not to have been observed.

The inquiry must establish whether there has been any public sector malfeasance in relation to Govan Graving Docks in the years since they closed down.

Please sign the petition calling for a public inquiry at

Can You Assist CDPI With Marketing?

The Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative are looking for a marketing and PR support partner / consultant who can assist us initially on a pro-bono/speculative basis with taking our outreach, networking and sponsor relationship management strategies to the next level.

In addition to developing plans for a maritime park at Govan Graving Docks, which is our key concern at present, we are expanding our scope throughout the Clyde Corridor to look at wider protection of maritime and heritage assets for the benefit of communities and local economies. We have identified a number of derelict sites and artefacts that are opportune for protection or restoration.

Work with our marketing partner will include further developing our strategies for:

– Ongoing development of our five-year dynamic business and marketing plans
– Optimising return on investment for our core sponsors and funding partners
– Sponsor recruitment and retention
– Community engagement (including the public and business communities)
– Media relations
– Raising the profile and level of awareness of the maritime heritage of the Clyde
– Addressing the context of modern maritime activity and sustainable opportunities
– Promoting awareness of nature and ecology in dockland / former dockland areas
– Leveraging potential for the River Clyde to once again become a thriving hub for maritime activity

While the role will initially be voluntary/speculative we anticipate that it will expand with the scope of our operations – potentially developing into a permanent position or long-term opportunity to collaborate with us on a range of exciting and innovative projects for maritime preservation.

A background involving marketing related to maritime/marine leisure, industry or shipping or social enterprise / third sector activity would be advantageous.

Interested candidates please send your CV and/or a link to your business website to