A Sail Cargo Hub for Govan?

Govan graving dry docks, Glasgow, Scotland, sail cargo, maritime park
Govan Graving Docks – what can you imagine?

There are several projects around the world that offer inspiration for what’s possible at Govan Graving Docks as a sail cargo hub.

Modern sail cargo is not just about nostalgia for the past. Most importantly it is a proven means of tackling climate change by reducing CO2 emissions from shipping. It is tried and tested the world over so why not on the Clyde – the river that once built a fifth of the world’s ships?

Sail cargo is about the FUTURE!

Sail cargo presents a business and economic case for dry dock restoration.

It’s about creating sustainable, long-term skilled jobs for the people of Govan and Glasgow for decades to come. Some examples:

  • Traditional skills preservation, shipbuilding techniques, carpentry, etc – with modern adaptations
  • Modern sailing ship construction – e.g. using composite materials – as well as building wooden ships
  • Shipbuilding, repair/restoration and other technical skills
  • Sail makers
  • Experience for shipbuilding apprentices
  • Sailing skills training

These are just a fraction of the jobs that a maritime park could create. Most importantly they would last much longer than the time it takes to build some flats.

In Govan we have the ideal site to both operate a sail cargo facility and showcase it as an integral part of a major maritime park attraction. Govan offers a central location to create this – close to the heart of Glasgow. It would enable the wider emerging sail cargo industry to be exhibited in an accessible way not just as a concept idea but a practical, working commercial operation. It would also be a way to create a connection between the past and the future by having this in what was once the most important shipbuilding location in the world. It is a much more suitable location to raise the profile than other sites further down the Clyde that could be suitable but are less accessible to visitors.

If one of the dry docks was restored to working order it could be used to build and repair sail cargo ships – returning civilian shipbuilding to Govan for the first time in decades. It could also be used for restoration projects on historic vessels, bringing part of the site back to it’s original use.

Part of the site could also be used to load/offload goods from small sailing ships – creating even more activity and interest.

It would create a living museum – with activity that still serves a practical business and economic purpose – not just preserving the history in aspic.

You can see some examples of the sail cargo concept at http://sailingdog.org/sail-freight-projects-around-the-world/

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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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 info@cdpi.org.uk

A Cutty Sark Replica for Govan? #CuttySarkGovan #SaveGovanDocks #Reborn2Sail

As reported in yesterday’s Sunday Mail exclusive, the Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative is in talks with an international team of replica shipbuilders who are fundraising and seeking a location to build a fully working and sailing replica of the Cutty Sark.

While a number of locations are being considered the first choice for the Cutty Sark 2 team is to build the ship in one of the currently derelict dry docks at Govan Graving Docks in Glasgow, Scotland which is why their representative approached CDPI last November.

If the project goes ahead it will be the first major construction of a civilian ship in Glasgow since the Govan shipyard was operated by Norwegian company Kvaerner in the 1990s. It will also send out a bold statement that a resurgence of shipbuilding and maritime activity on the Clyde (as opposed to lining the river with bland and uninspiring blocks of flats) is still very much a viable ambition.

We believe a temporary fix can be made to one of the dry docks to prepare it for the replica project and this will help to establish the case for a full restoration to allow use for similar projects and for historic ship maintenance and repair. The perfect centrepiece for a maritime heritage park!

The Cutty Sark 2 team are keen to involve local organisations and volunteers in their project and this would be a fantastic opportunity for young people from Govan and Glasgow to become involved in. Something they could tell their grandchildren about!

Both the Cutty Sark project and the acquisition and restoration of the docks are in need of financial backing. This is a rallying cry to the people of Govan and Glasgow, the business community and the maritime and marine sector in the West of Scotland to come together behind this ambitious dream and help turn it into a reality!

For more information about the Cutty Sark 2 plans see the website at http://cutty-sark.org/

Local groups and volunteers interested in becoming involved, as well as those in a position to offer financial or technical support for dry dock restoration, please contact The Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative in the first instance – info@cdpi.org.uk

#SaveGovanDocks T-Shirts and Other Merchandise

Today marks the 118th anniversary of the opening of the large dry dock – No. 3 dry dock at Govan Graving Docks in Glasgow, Scotland.

To mark the occasion the Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative are launching a new way for supporters to help us raise core funding for our efforts to save the docks and look at wider maritime heritage on the Clyde.

We are rolling out an online store for sales of merchandise with proceeds contributing towards the core costs of CDPI.

With the launch today we are introducing a range of t-shirts and black & white photography prints.

Our #SaveGovanDocks t-shirts are produced from ethically sourced, low carbon, 100% organic cotton.

For more information visit our online store page at http://cdpi.org.uk/store/store.htm

The River Clyde’s Maritime Clearances / Govan-Partick Bridge

Anecdotally during the Highland clearances, when landowners forcibly removed their tenants to make way for sheep grazing, trees were planted inside the walls of houses so that people would not be able to move back into them.

Today we are seeing a similar eradication of the maritime infrastructure on the River Clyde. Except instead of trees it is poorly conceived box flats and bland commercial developments that are being built. The recently approved redevelopment of the former John Brown shipyard in Clydebank, the birthplace of the QE2, is a case in point an stands as an ominous spectre of what could happen to Govan Graving Docks if we do not succeed in challenging developers’ plans.

Plans have been announced to build an additional footbridge across the River Clyde between Partick and Govan.

Such a bridge would be a welcome addition to the waterfront pedestrian thoroughfare but it is essential that this be an opening bridge so that navigation on the Clyde is still possible.

A non opening bridge would put an end to navigation upstream of Govan. It could put an end to Waverley cruises from the Centre of Glasgow and could even force a relocation of the tall ship Glenlee currently berthed at the Riverside Museum as well as affect plans to berth the Queen Mary. No boats much larger than a rib would be able to navigate up the Clyde into the centre of Glasgow.

It would also prevent any ships accessing Princes Dock basin and the graving docks in Govan – which would scupper any plans to restore one or more of the historic dry docks for their original purpose or for accommodating historic ships / visiting ships in the docks as The Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative proposes.

We call on anyone with an interest in the maritime history of the Clyde and use of the river for traffic of any kind to make their voices heard and demand that any bridge built between Govan and Partick should be a raising or a swing bridge.

The “Squinty” and “Squiggly” bridges have already put an end to navigation beyond Finnieston and even small passenger ferries that operate on the Clyde cannot pass under the Squinty Bridge at high tide. Such that the pontoon below central station is now practically obsolete. Perhaps more thought could have gone into the design of these bridges but perhaps too lessons can be learned from the impact they have had on navigation so that better design decisions are made in the future.

CDPI Announces Resignation of Lord Stringfellow from our Board of Directors

It is with regret that we announce the resignation last week of Lord James Stringfellow from the board of the Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative with immediate effect.

Jimmy has stood down due to the stress he has experienced as a result of sustained prejudice against the Fairground Community Group in Govan of which he is the leader.

The board of CDPI wish to thank our friend and former colleague for his contribution to date and the door will remain open for him to return at any time in the future if he feels able.

We stand shoulder to shoulder with the Fairground Community in condemning the bigotry that Jimmy and his family have been subjected to for many years.

We hope the very small minority within the Govan community, who are responsible for this bigotry, will take the opportunity to issue an apology to Jimmy Stringfellow, to the Fairground Community, as well as retractions of defamatory comments they may have made to various third parties about CDPI and other organisations we work with.

CDPI and our partner organisations have faced what we believe to be sustained attempts to force us out of business in recent months. Jimmy believes that this has been motivated by bigotry against showpeople and that stepping aside will help put an end to this.