Sustanable Cargo Sailing Ships

Renaissance in sailing ships for emissions-free, sustainable cargo.

We could build, maintain and load/offload these ships in Govan Graving Docks.

It would mean a secure, sustainable future for Govan Graving Docks and Glasgow shipbuilding as well as offer skills preservation opportunities for young and long-term unemployed people as an integral part of a major maritime heritage attraction.

For examples of how this is being done already see –

Social Media Blitz: Please Help Us Spread the Word

This week CDPI published a detailed report on the planning history of Govan Graving Docks which demonstrates clearly that a major housing development at the historic dry dock site is neither feasible nor desirable.

We also want to produce a documentary film about Govan Graving Docks and have launched a fundraising campaign on However we need to raise £6,500 for this in the crowdfunder by 29th December 2016 or we won’t get a penny!

From today and over the weekend we are asking you to help us out with a massive social media blitz – to spread the word about the planning history report and the crowdfunding campaign – far and wide to as many people as possible. Also to get more signatures on the petition:

We have the developers on the ropes now and it’s time for a huge push to deliver the final Coup de Grace for private housing proposals and ensure Govan Graving Docks is protected as a maritime asset for future generations and the benefit of the community.

We’re only five months away from the local government elections. Huge pressure needs to be put on politicians in Glasgow and at Holyrood to acknowledge the state of Govan Graving Docks and how long the site has been derelict.

Report on the Planning History of Govan Graving Docks

A 20 page detailed report into the planning history of Govan Graving Docks that demonstrates redevelopment of the site for housing is not viable on a number of grounds.

The report also questions the historic role of public sector agencies and aims to identify lessons that can be learned from past experiences.

Executive Summary

The report will look in some detail, at the history of planning and development proposals for Govan Graving Docks, since the closure of the site as a working dock facility.

The core of our thesis is that an extensive redevelopment of Govan Graving Docks for residential and commercial use is not feasible on grounds of desirability/popularity, financial viability, technical viability, industrial/maritime heritage concerns and the A-listed status of the site. The information we have researched and collated in this report will serve unequivocally to prove that.

On the basis of research conducted in preparing this report; we have concluded that in order for a housing development at Govan Graving Docks to be financially viable, meet the exceptionally high infrastructure / site preparation costs and provide any return on investment for shareholders and investors – it would need to be an exclusive luxury development with property prices well above the average for the local area. Given the site is bounded by primarily social housing it is questionable whether this could be achieved.

The site has continued to lie derelict for 28 years despite several proposals for housing redevelopment having been put forward and later shelved for various reasons. We have concluded that housing/commercial proposals for such a prominent site as Govan Graving Docks would have gone ahead already had they any real viability and prospect of success.

The report also aims to raise questions of whether a private sector property developer is the most appropriate type of organisation to be entrusted with the stewardship of one of the most unique and significant maritime heritage assets in Europe.

We aim to demonstrate that Local Government strategy in dealing with Govan Graving Docks has in the past lacked objectivity, coherence and consistency in the time that the site has been derelict. Further that this has not aligned with stated policy objectives aimed at encouraging regeneration of the River Clyde corridor. Additionally the approach of the Scottish Government (formerly the Scottish Executive) and previously the Scottish Office prior to devolution has largely been passive. This report is not intended to level criticism at public bodies or officials but simply to identify lessons that can be learned from past experiences.

Clear opportunity to create a major maritime heritage centre at Govan Graving Docks was twice presented during the 1990s however there is no evidence that these proposals received the requisite municipal or political support beyond the granting of planning consent. This is an oversight that was particularly surprising given that Glasgow (once referred to as the “Second City of the Empire”) was once synonymous with maritime and shipbuilding industry. Yet the city does very little to preserve and promote its heritage.

The work of artists such as Charles Rennie Mackintosh is widely celebrated as part of Glasgow’s cultural heritage and rightly so. But what too of the legacy of the shipbuilding pioneers and the graft of thousands of shipyard and dock workers?

Proposals to create a major maritime centre (along with a social enterprise hub) at Govan Graving Docks, that would draw visitors/tourists and contribute immensely to the local economy in the long-term, have emerged once again alongside a campaign that has drawn wide support. This has been coupled with a strategy to create social enterprise and micro business franchise opportunities for young and unemployed people from the Glasgow area, alongside proposed nature reserve areas, studio/workshop space, stalls and a facility for historic ship repair, replica build projects and skills preservation. The proposals are about much more than just maritime heritage and would transform Govan Graving Docks into a cultural hub and centre of community.

The greatest potential threat to the emerging opportunity to create a maritime park is the time needed for detailed proposals to be carefully formed and thus the potential for attempts to streamline the planning process and fast track the plans of housing developers – a scenario that could see Govan Graving Docks lost as an historic site permanently.

The full report and summary of key points are available at

Get Your Name on CDPI Sponsors List

We are giving our individual supporters the opportunity to sponsor our essential costs and get their name displayed on our website sponsors list.

We aim to step up our efforts in the coming months with launching the planned student design competition that we’d previously announced and recruiting wider expert volunteer support to put more comprehensive business plans and proposals in place. With the housing developers expected to seek planning consent in the near future we are entering the most pivotal phase of the campaign.

We’ve already had a fantastic response to our recent volunteer registration survey and for those who registered we will be following up with you in the coming weeks.

More info at:

Govan Graving Docks EIA Screening Application

As we reported earlier this month (Govan Needs You, It’s Time To Mobilise!) environmental consultants presumably working for the developers had lodged an application for an EIA Screening Opinion under the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations.

The application had essentially requested that the council rule there is no requirement to carry out a full Environmental Impact Assessment and include an Environmental Statement of it with any pending or future application for planning consent to develop the site.

Glasgow City Council have now decided that an Environmental Statement will be required as part of the planning process. Not the answer the developers wanted.

This is a welcome decision – a clear indication that the council are acting with the highest integrity, have the best interests of the historic A-listed docks (and their impact on the surrounding environment) at heart and are not going to give the developers an easy ride.…/…

This demonstrates very clearly that the publicity and pressure being applied by the campaign (which all 8,081 petition supporters and counting have contributed to the strength of) is having effect and this is clearly a positive step forward for us in what was always going to be a war of attrition.

This means a precedent has now been set that any future proposed development of the site is going to need an Environmental Impact Assessment. Of course that will apply to a maritime heritage park as well but an EIA is something we have from the outset felt should be carried out whether mandatory or voluntary. The health and safety of all site users and neighbours (now and in the future) must be top priority.

If you’ve not yet signed the petition you can do so at

Govan Needs You, It’s Time to Mobilise! #SaveGovanDocks

Glasgow Shipbuilding Heritage Park Campaign

Govan Needs You, It's Time to Mobilise! #SaveGovanDocks Govan Needs You, It’s Time to Mobilise! #SaveGovanDocks

An application has been lodged with Glasgow City Council for an EIA Screening Opinion on Govan Graving Docks.

“Erection of Mixed Use development at former Govan Graving Docks – Request for a screening opinion under the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations”

What the Screening Opinion application means is that the developers want the Council to agree that there is no requirement to conduct a full Environmental Impact Assessment – so that only a more straightforward (‘lite version’) environmental survey will be needed.

The application indicates planning consent will be sought for 600 homes, 195 hotel rooms and 7,520 square metres of office space to be developed on the docks. Also a cynical token gesture of a small museum and café – as if that’s going to appease anyone and could potentially be dropped from the plans at…

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Who Will Benefit from the Restoration of Govan Graving Docks? #SaveGovanDocks

It is clear from recent media articles ( 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.