A CAMPAIGN to develop a landmark building to celebrate the shipbuilding and marine engineering heritage of the Clyde has been launched.
The Ship Yard Trust has started public engagement over its ‘ambitious’ plan to design and build an iconic visitor venue to rival then likes of the Titanic in Belfast and the V&A in Dundee.
The trust’s mission statement explains: “The great industrial achievements of the River Clyde in steam propulsion, engineering and shipbuilding are widely known not just in the UK but around the world.
“Despite this, there is no single location on the river where this world-class story can be told. The time has come to acknowledge the vision of those who established these industries, of the innovation central to their success and to the individual contribution made by hundreds of thousands of men and women over many decades who toiled through good times and bad to manufacture remarkable products and make the name Clydebuilt synonymous with excellence.
“The Ship Yard Trust has been formed to focus attention on these achievements and engage with all parties to formulate a strategy that permanently acknowledges this outstanding industrial heritage.
People are being urged to submit feedback, support and suggestions via the trust’s website at www.theshipyard.scot.
Ian Mackay, trust board member and chartered surveyor, said: “When I visited the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao a few years ago it became apparent to me that the building had changed the fortunes of that deindustrialised post-shipbuilding town to the extent it was now the place to visit with tourism and local jobs thriving.
“Then I thought on the Clyde we have a much bigger shipbuilding and engineering story to tell but we’ve nowhere to tell it so why don’t we build our own as part of the reinvigoration of Clydeside.”
Gil Paterson, the chair of the Ship Yard Trust, said: “The Clyde’s past is a fantastic, untapped asset and, coupled with what Clydeside is engaged in now and into the future, the trust wants to bring together and showcase this to the world; we can then celebrate our past and help pioneer our future”.
Tom Mckendrick, board member and artist, said: “Apprenticed to the Clyde at15 years of age, like thousands of my generation and 100 years of previous generations, instils in you a deep sense of belonging.
“The power, scale and the vision of huge ships being built marks you. Then there is the danger and the dirt, to produce these beautiful things. There is nothing to compare in any other industry.”
Ian Johnston, board member and shipbuilding historian, said: “The British shipbuilding and marine engineering industry had its origins on Clydeside where it took hold through invention, enterprise and skill.
“If much smaller today, shipbuilding still has a significant presence on the Clyde. The great history of this river from its earliest years to the present day deserves to be told with confidence and pride.”
Danny McCafferty, board member and former West Dunbartonshire Council Leader, said: “Most people are familiar with the proverb ‘great oaks from little acorns grow’ meaning great enterprises can develop from the most modest of beginnings.
“The history of the Clyde demonstrates how true that is. It is a story worth telling, not only because it has resonated and impacted throughout the entire world but to take inspiration from….to write the next chapter, leaving behind a heritage from the present as well as past generations of Clydesiders.”