It is clear from recent media articles (http://www.glasgowlive.co.uk/news/glasgow-news/fight-govans-docks-listed-glasgow-11640615) that the developers remain defiant in their belief that they can cover Govan Graving Docks in mostly private housing.
Conversely the maritime park campaign is resolute that any addition of permanent buildings to the Govan Graving Docks site should be restricted to low-rise units (probably two storeys above street level), along the edge of Govan Road, in a design appropriate to a maritime theme.
Our objective in restricting the construction of permanent buildings to the Govan Road edge is two fold – to create a boundary that merges the dock onto the street and to ensure the rest of the site is protected to allow for changes in its use over time. It will also ensure there are no alterations to the A-listed structure of the historic docks other than for their long-term preservation. This will include the restoration and retention of the existing cobbles surfaces of the quays, capstains, bollards, dock stairwells, etc.
Could we bring a dry dock back to life for ship repair? The Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative believes this is a real possibility. A working dry dock facility that is used for ship repair in the winter, when some ferries are taken out of service, would mean the quay space around it could be used to service this operation in the winter months while in the summer the space could be used for temporary events or historic ship projects.
A collective of small businesses and social enterprises at the docks would enable young people from Govan to develop their own opportunities within a maritime park setting.
Govan is an area with high levels of unemployment and poverty. A key strategy of CDPI is involving young and unemployed people from the local area in our projects. Many people have to commute out of Govan to work and doubt has once again been cast on the future of the shipyard. Govan desperately needs something with wide ranging economic benefit that the community can rally around and an internationally renowned maritime park would certainly accomplish that.
The very last thing Govan needs is a carbuncle like the mess New City Vision have made of Gartloch Hospital.
The maritime park strategy aims to integrate a collaborative micro-enterprise hub that will enable young people to set up and develop their own franchise opportunities.
To give an example if a group of young unemployed people from Govan wished to set up a juice bar or a gourmet burger stall in the maritime park we would facilitate and assist them to do this and bring in the support and training they need from a range of expert agencies. Once this was set up, it would be their own independent franchise business, within the context of the maritime park. However they would continue to receive support via CDPI and the wider co-working community that would develop in the park. Other examples could be cafes, creative studio space and skills preservation workshops. In this way the nature of the maritime park would be to a great extent shaped by the community via the types of business that franchise tenants wish to establish and demand for leisure/visitor/tourism facilities based on ongoing market research conducted by us and by franchise tenants.
In this way we will be able to create real sustainable opportunities for young people from Glasgow and most importantly this will be done in a way that gives them a great deal of control and autonomy within the wider maritime park setting.
None of that will be able to happen if New City Vision are allowed to gradually cover the site with housing.