At one time a fifth of all ships afloat in the world were built and launched on Scotland’s River Clyde. “Clydebuilt” was a world-renowned mark of engineering skill and elite craftsmanship. Glasgow was (and in many peoples’ hearts and minds still is) synonymous with shipbuilding.
Now there is little trace left of the industries that shaped the river and the City of Glasgow. While other maritime regions and rivers have seen positive transformation after the loss of industry, The Clyde has become a mere shadow of its former glory. What we see is a lack of joined-up thinking along the Clyde and between its local authority areas to develop the full potential of the River and Firth of Clyde for culture, recreation, tourism and new industry.
We want to help turn that around and promote the potential of the Clyde as a hub of diverse vibrant activity fit for the 21st Century! Something that so many waterfronts in Europe and around the world have created and so proven it can be done.
Having campaigned for several years to save Govan’s iconic A-listed Victorian dry docks, CDPI set up the Govan Docks Regeneration Trust, which is now taking forward a community conversation and developing proposals for the future of the iconic site.
With the controversial proposals to turn Govan Graving Docks into a private executive housing development having been decisively rejected by Glasgow City Council, and popular alternative proposals unfolding to bring the docks back into use for marine engineering, there is a sense that we are at the beginning of a new era of maritime activity and reindustrialisation on the Clyde. There is now clear opportunity to see modern apprenticeships and an exciting cultural and educational hub created at Govan Graving Docks, alongside a centre for clean and sustainable modern maritime industry. Govan was once at the very heart of Clyde engineering and shipbuilding – now it’s coming home!
As well as continuing to provide support to the Govan Docks Regeneration Trust in the short to medium term, CDPI now aims to expand the scope of our work and take it to the next level.
We are preparing to pilot a number of key initiatives to promote 21st Century maritime heritage, tourism, culture and reindustrialisation on the Clyde. Remembering the past is important but more than that, we want to help shape and protect the culture and heritage of tomorrow!
These initiatives include:
- Continuing to provide operational support and expertise to Govan Docks Regeneration Trust as well as looking at it as a maritime heritage case study relevant to our wider work
- Developing plans to launch an annual summer-long Clyde Festival programme throughout the region – to bring diverse independent events together and encourage new ones to be launched
- Promoting the development of wind-powered sail cargo shipping on the Clyde, as a way to tackle climate change
- Developing a photographic record/archive of the condition of maritime and waterfront assets on the Clyde that can be used to monitor environmental changes and developments
- Developing a range of services including; guided walking tours (which we have already piloted with very positive feedback), information research services, documentary photography services, digital media services and event services all focused on the Clyde as a maritime river
- Promoting a wider understanding that maritime heritage is not just about history and museums; but more importantly about contemporary culture/activity, new technology, innovation, reindustrialisation and issues of sustainable development
- Promoting the development of a maritime network for the Clyde
- Developing resources and benefits for our associate membership
In order to fully commit to developing these initiatives we need to raise project funding for the year ahead.
Our amazing supporters have carried us this far but now we need to go full steam ahead, clear the decks and take things to the next level!
Become part of a bold vision to bring our great river back to life!