Fablevision Studios’ documentary on the Govan Graving Docks for the Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative (CDPI) is now available here and on Youtube.
The documentary covers the history of the docks from their role as the yards which served Glasgow’s shipbuilding, re-fitting and maintenance industries, through the decline of that industry, the long years of dereliction and how the docks might be used and redeveloped in the future.
CDPI, a non-profit organisation, was set up with the aim of restoring and preserving industrial heritage sites such as the Govan Graving Docks in Glasgow and similar maritime assets on the Clyde for future generations.
The site owner, New City Vision, has submitted plans to Glasgow City Council to develop the site for housing. This vision for the site, though, is not supported (for a variety of reasons) by the CDPI, Historic Environment Scotland, SEPA or Jim McColl of Ferguson Marine Engineering.
The crux of the matter is this: is housing with its short-term benefits for employment the best and most appropriate use of this site? The documentary addresses many of the issues concerned not least how we mark and redevelop historic sites and what role the community has in doing this (beyond cursory consultation). Aside from the social, cultural, aesthetic and environmental considerations (e.g. flooding and traffic congestion/pollution), there are further matters to discuss in respect of this site. Should Glasgow continue to de-industrialise? What is the future for the Clyde re. shipbuilding and maintenance?
The film concludes that a mixed use for the site which combines heritage/tourism, housing and industry, would not just be better for the community (Govan), it would be a better long-term prospect for the River Clyde and Glasgow as a whole.
The latest news on the site is that Ferguson Marine Engineering has submitted a counter proposal to Glasgow City Council, which involves, among other things, re-instating the docks as a working concern. Details were submitted to the public consultation meeting held at Glasgow’s Riverside Hall on 3rd March, 2018.
What’s your view?