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

Media Articles About Govan Graving Docks

We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of media articles about or relating to Govan Graving Docks. Please let us know if we’ve missed any out!

Scotland on Sunday: Campaign to preserve Glasgow’s maritime history heats up (14 Aug 2016)

Glasgow Live: Women lead the way with TURN, an exciting new project at Govan Graving Docks (5 Aug 2016)

Glasgow Live: The fight for Govan’s docks: A-listed Glasgow heritage site at risk of being lost forever (20 Jul 2016)

Glasgow Live: The bold plan to breathe new life into Govan Graving Docks and save the River Clyde’s history (10 Jun 2016)

Evening Times: Are you from Govan? This artists needs your help – and your birthday (10 Jun 2016)

The Scotsman: Glasgow building up to turning around derelict wasteland (3 Feb 2016)

Evening Times: Nearly 7000 sign petition to turn Govan docks into a heritage site (8 Nov 2015)

Sunday Herald: Campaigners in bid to preserve docks’ heritage and secure Unesco world status (1 Nov 2015)

The Big Issue: Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative: Let Glasgow have a shipbuilding heritage park (1 Oct 2015)

Herald Scotland: Time to give Govan docks a new lease of life (27 Jul 2015)

Maritime Journal: Govan Graving Docks (24 Jun 2015)

Daily Record: Govan Graving Dock hit twice by fire in as many days alarming heritage campaigners (23 April 2015)

Herald Scotland: What is on the horizon for Govan’s forgotten dry docks? (18 Nov 2014)

Daily Record: Campaign launched to create a lasting tribute of shipbuilding history at Govan Graving Dry Docks (1 May 2014)

The Herald: Britannia for the Clyde? (24 April 1997)

The Herald: Developers back rival’s bid for Britannia (21 April 1997)

The Glasgow Herald: Dry dock museum bid sparks row over repairs (2 Nov 1989)

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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A Nature Park Next to Govan Graving Docks? #SaveGovanDocks

The wet basin to the West of Govan Graving Docks was at one time the fitting out basin for the Harland and Wolff shipyard – most of which once stood at what is now Govan Riverside and a housing estate. Only the basin and the adjacent engine shed now remain.

Wet Basin at Govan graving Docks - the former harland and Wolff fitting out basin

It was only later on that this was incorporated into the Govan Dry Dock complex, which was operated by Clydedock Engineering Ltd until it closed down in 1988.

Since the docks closed down the wooden quay around the basin has rotted and crumbled away while the land around it gradually became overgrown with trees and other vegetation until it was cleared in 2014. It has become home to nesting birds and cormorants, swans and a seal are regular visitors to the basin.

What could we do to bring the basin and the adjoining land back into use?

Perhaps it could be a nature park area with dug out ponds, fenced paths or wooden boardwalks around it and leading down to jetties on the bank.

Could the basin be partially silted to create a tidal lagoon with bird islands and a habitat for the wildlife?

There are many successful examples of urban and post-industrial nature parks in Europe and around the world.

Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park in London was created on a former dockland site:


A park like this on the waterfront close to the centre of Glasgow would attract visitors and would be of huge benefit to the local community in Govan – creating a space for people to relax and for local young people to learn about urban ecology.

There are also very clear health benefits from creating natural environments in urban settings.

Even densely populated Japan manages to address this:


Other examples

Camley Street Nature Park, London
Created in a former coal yard between the Regent’s Canal and the railway lines into Kings Cross

Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre, Grangemouth
Created on a former wasteland site

Cardiff Bay Wetlands Reserve
Created on former salt marsh within the tidal barrage

Vacaresti, Bucharest


Can we put Govan on the map of urban nature locations?


Some Relevant Articles and Websites:


National Geographic: How Urban Parks Are Bringing Nature Close to Home

Rotherham Centenary Riverside Urban Nature Park

Urban Nature Parks and Neighborhood Social Health in Portland, Oregon

Sheffield Urban Nature Parks Project

Scotland’s largest urban nature park given £4m lottery grant

Government of Western Australia: Parks and Wildlife

Urban Nature Parks and Individual Health
Oregon State University: Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society

The health benefits of urban nature: how much do we need?
Fuller Lab

Psychological and mental health benefits from nature and urban greenspace
Ian Douglas / University of Manchester


It’s Not Just About Maritime Heritage

The priority in preserving and restoring Govan Graving Docks is to protect the listed structures as a monument to those who built and repaired hundreds of ships in them. That means restricting the addition of any permanent buildings to the edge along Govan Road and to use maritime and shipbuilding inspired concepts in the architecture.

This will leave quay space available to use temporary free-standing buildings which will still give plenty of scope for innovation and also allow for adaptive use of the site. The dry dock basins can be used to accommodate floating units, restored ships and a working dry dock for historic ship repair, replica construction and skills preservation projects.

The aim is to provide quay space for a wide range of uses as well as small commercial units along Govan Road. The uses for these are limited only by the imagination of the small businesses, local social entrepreneurs and artists who will be engaged to bring the site back to life.

The following list gives only a few examples of what is possible. If you have ideas please add them in the comment section below.

  • Cafes, restaurants, deli shops
  • Artists studios
  • Gift shops
  • Skills preservation workshops
  • Museum displays and interactive media
  • Art and craft stalls
  • Street food stalls
  • Large and small art installations
  • Street performers / outdoor theatre
  • Seasonal festivals, river galas/regattas, community events
  • Park and recreation space
  • Floating holiday accommodation


Would you be interested in setting up a micro business or social enterprise franchise at Govan Graving Docks once it has been restored? If so please get in touch! If you know someone who would please tell them.

We’re particularly keen to hear from young and unemployed people from Govan and the wider Glasgow area as well as those who can offer specific skills and training support to help young and unemployed people develop their own cooperative franchises.

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.