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Historic Scottish Dry Dock at Govan, Glasgow Scoops National Maritime Award

20th September 2023
Dry Dock Reopens: Peter Green CEO of National Maritime with Govan Drydock Managing Director, Peter Breslin. The historic category A-listed facility in Glasgow has won a prestigious award. In the background is turbine steamer, TS Queen Mary which is undergoing a major restoration project.
Dry Dock Reopens: Peter Green CEO of National Maritime with Govan Drydock Managing Director, Peter Breslin. The historic category A-listed facility in Glasgow has won a prestigious award. In the background is turbine steamer, TS Queen Mary which is undergoing a major restoration project.

A restoration project of the historic Govan drydock, located in the heart of Glasgow, has been announced as a winner in the Coastal Communities Excellence award.

Govan Drydock Limited, scooped the prestigious accolade at the National Maritime SME Awards, which celebrate the outstanding and innovative achievements of small and medium enterprises across the UK maritime sector.

The dry-dock which has been derelict for decades as Afloat reported, has been restored and brought back into active service over the past year, won the Coastal Communities Excellence category at the awards ceremony held at Woods Quay in London on 13 September.

Govan Drydock is now operational as a ship repair and maintenance facility. Earlier this year, it was awarded the contract to project manage and undertake the first phase of major restoration and repair work on the historic vessel, the turbine steamer TS Queen Mary.The year-long project will help preserve the iconic ship, see related story.

Peter Breslin, Managing Director of Govan Drydock Limited said: “Winning this award is a huge honour and is recognition of the tireless work we have undertaken to date on the restoration of Govan Drydock.

“The project not only has protected and revived the drydock, the business viability has also been proven with the awarding of the TS Queen Mary repair and restoration project, which has brought employment opportunities and community benefits to the area.

“We have exciting plans for the further development of the drydock, which will help contribute to the ongoing regeneration of the Clyde Waterfront and breathe life into the Govan area of Glasgow.”

Harry O’Donnell, Chairman of New City Vision, who own the site, said: “We are thrilled that Govan Drydock has won this prestigious award following the commencement of the restoration works to the TS Queen Mary. It is a testament to the efforts that Marine Projects Scotland has poured into restoring the dry dock, bringing it back into working order in the first time in almost forty years.

“Forming a crucial component of our wider vision to reconnect the people of Glasgow with this historic site, the restoration of Dock No.1 marks the latest step in our exciting journey. As we move forward, we continue to carry out extensive consultation on proposals, integrating new homes with carefully thought-out community spaces to deliver a vibrant and dynamic future for the docks.”

Glasgow MSP and Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Maritime & Shipbuilding, Paul Sweeney added: “It has been exciting to follow the team bringing the historic Category A-listed Govan Graving Docks back to life after 36 years of dereliction, and as they embark on their first project, the restoration of the 1930s turbine steamer Queen Mary, they have my utmost support in their effort to re-establish commercial ship repair at this impressive triple dry dock and tidal basin facility on the upper Clyde.”

Details of all the award winners can be found here

Published in Shipyards
Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Afloat will be focusing on news and developments of shipyards with newbuilds taking shape on either slipways and building halls.

The common practice of shipbuilding using modular construction, requires several yards make specific block sections that are towed to a single designated yard and joined together to complete the ship before been launched or floated out.

In addition, outfitting quays is where internal work on electrical and passenger facilities is installed (or upgraded if the ship is already in service). This work may involve newbuilds towed to another specialist yard, before the newbuild is completed as a new ship or of the same class, designed from the shipyard 'in-house' or from a naval architect consultancy. Shipyards also carry out repair and maintenance, overhaul, refit, survey, and conversion, for example, the addition or removal of cabins within a superstructure. All this requires ships to enter graving /dry-docks or floating drydocks, to enable access to the entire vessel out of the water.

Asides from shipbuilding, marine engineering projects such as offshore installations take place and others have diversified in the construction of offshore renewable projects, from wind-turbines and related tower structures. When ships are decommissioned and need to be disposed of, some yards have recycling facilities to segregate materials, though other vessels are run ashore, i.e. 'beached' and broken up there on site. The scrapped metal can be sold and made into other items.