Press Release: Govan Docks Maritime Park

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Glasgow, Scotland 30 September 2016

Govan Docks Maritime Park

The Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative (CDPI) are pleased to announce the successful registration of Govan Docks Maritime Park (Scottish registered charity no. SC046875) as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) with the charity regulator OSCR.

This represents a significant step forward in our bid to secure the future of Govan Graving Docks as a maritime heritage asset for future generations and for the benefit of the community in Govan and Glasgow.

The aim is for Govan Docks Maritime Park as an independent, dedicated charity, to eventually secure ownership of the A-listed historic site and raise funds for its restoration.

This will guarantee the long-term protection and stewardship of the only remaining significant dockland site in Glasgow that has not been lost to redevelopment and the only opportunity to create a major maritime heritage centre that befits the significance of our great city’s shipbuilding past. It will also ensure that benefit to the local community, the City of Glasgow, the Clyde region and the West of Scotland’s visitor, tourism and maritime potential is put before commercial gain and speculative property development.

The exact formation of the maritime park will be influenced by ongoing consultation. It is likely it will include a diverse range of attractions, activities, social enterprises, educational facilities, nature reserve, etc that will operate different aspects rather than the entire park being run as a single corporate entity.

The intention is to create independent/cooperative social enterprise franchise opportunities with a particular focus on young and unemployed people from the local areas and to engage a range of relevant third-party support agencies to assist them in the process of setting them up. We expect that major chains – e.g. fast-food outlets, etc will be excluded entirely.

It will be an evolutionary process that will enable the franchise tenants and the community to shape the development of the maritime park through the types of micro-businesses they choose to set up.

We have previously estimated that capacity for up to 250 or more permanent jobs and micro-business / social enterprise opportunities could potentially be created.

However before any of that can happen major restorative work will be required. This will take several years to complete and require millions of pounds in funding (on top of acquisition costs) which the charity aims to raise via heritage/conservation grants and other sources.

Restricting the addition of permanent buildings to the edge along Govan Road will ensure the rest of the quay space (including the cobbled surfaces) is kept intact. Use of the space will be able to change and adapt over time by use of only free-standing structures on the quays and floating installations in the dock basins. We would also like to see restored ships berthed in the docks and aim to provide a facility for at least part of the Cutty Sark 2 replica build.

CDPI aims to continue to provide project management and administrative services to the Govan Docks Maritime Park SCIO and we have just appointed a management consultant with a background in civil engineering to our board of directors.

We wish to thank OSCR for their guidance and efficient processing of the application and of course everyone else who has assisted with the process so far.

www.oscr.org.uk/charities/search-scottish-charity-register/charity-details?number=SC046875

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: http://cdpi.org.uk/items_pledge.htm

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.

https://publicaccess.glasgow.gov.uk/…/applicationDetails.do…

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 http://chn.ge/1L3F1T1

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”

https://publicaccess.glasgow.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=OAV3SREX0NB00

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…

View original post 180 more words

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:
http://www.tcv.org.uk/greenwichpeninsula

 

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
http://www.wildlondon.org.uk/reserves/camley-street-natural-park

Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre, Grangemouth
Created on a former wasteland site
http://scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/reserve/jupiter-urban-wildlife-centre/

Cardiff Bay Wetlands Reserve
Created on former salt marsh within the tidal barrage
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardiff_Bay_Wetlands_Reserve

Vacaresti, Bucharest
http://parcnaturalvacaresti.ro/english/

 

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
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2016/04/nature-urban-national-parks/

Rotherham Centenary Riverside Urban Nature Park
http://www.wren.org.uk/projects/rotherham-centenary-riverside-urban-nature-park

Urban Nature Parks and Neighborhood Social Health in Portland, Oregon
http://js.sagamorepub.com/jpra/article/view/2714

Sheffield Urban Nature Parks Project
http://www.place-keeping.org/blog/sheffield-urban-nature-parks-project

Scotland’s largest urban nature park given £4m lottery grant
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-36895578

Government of Western Australia: Parks and Wildlife
https://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/management/off-reserve-conservation/urban-nature

Urban Nature Parks and Individual Health
Oregon State University: Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society
http://scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1008&context=nerr

The health benefits of urban nature: how much do we need?
Fuller Lab
https://www.fullerlab.org/naturedose/

Psychological and mental health benefits from nature and urban greenspace
Ian Douglas / University of Manchester
http://www.ukmaburbanforum.co.uk/docunents/presentations/statins_and_greenspaces/douglas.pdf

 

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.