BBC News

Restoration plan for historic Glasgow dry dock

Published
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionThe derelict docks were used for filming scenes for Sam Mendes' World War One film 1917

A dry dock in the heart of Glasgow which featured in the film 1917 could be returned to use under plans to revitalise the Clyde waterfront.

A property firm which owns the Govan Graving Docks said one of them could be restored as a potential maintenance facility for "heritage ships".

The site, near the Science Centre, has not been used since the 1980s.

Some scenes from the Sam Mendes World War One film were shot at the docks last year.

  • 'Mission Clyde' attempts to reverse riverside decline

Built between 1869 and 1897, the three Govan Graving Docks were used to service hundreds of ships that navigated the Clyde.

Become derelict

Since the docks' closure in 1987, the land has been owned by property developers and the facilities have become derelict.

Two years ago an application to build 700 flats on the site was rejected, with the plans criticised for failing to preserve historic interest in the Grade-A listed docks.

The land's owners say they now plan to lease No 1 dock, the largest and oldest of the three, to a newly-formed charitable trust that will oversee its restoration.

image copyrightMarine Projects Scotland
image captionWater was pumped out of Dock No 1 for the first time in more than 30 years to inspect its condition

Last week the dock was drained for the first time since its closure to inspect its condition.

Peter Breslin, of Marine Projects Scotland, that would manage the restoration, said: "The survey revealed that the dock gate, culverts and dock walls are all in good condition. A programme can now be developed for the works required to reactivate the dock."

Dock No 1 is 551ft (169m) long, 72ft (22m) wide and has a depth of 22ft (6.7m).

A spokesman suggested it could potentially be used as a maintenance facility for historic ships such as the TS Queen Mary, currently berthed nearby, the tall ship Glenlee, a visitor attraction beside the Riverside Museum, or possibly the Waverley, the paddle steamer that was recently damaged after hitting Brodick Pier on Arran.

Plans for the Graving Docks were announced as part of a wider project to revitalise the River Clyde corridor with new housing, retail and transport initiatives.

Related Topics

  • Glasgow
  • Govan