26th July, 2015
Inchgreen Drydock has real potential
When Inchgreen Drydock first opened in 1964 it was an exciting time for Greenock. But despite an initial flurry of ships sailing into the River Clyde to benefit from the services provided by Britain’s largest drydock, it never reached its full potential as a shipbuilding hub.
Nevertheless, since then, its presence has been valued by the likes of BAE systems, the MOD and Yarrow Shipbuilders. Most recently, the large ferry named Finnarrow was towed all the way from Wales to receive repairs following a berthing incident.
It’s no surprise therefore that last week leading entrepreneur Jim McColl of Clyde Blowers, confirmed what I and the community have been arguing for some time, that Inchgreen is a national asset. Indeed, it has also been rumoured that Cammell Laird, Britain’s biggest shipping repair operator has expressed interest in the drydock as well.
Just recently, I met with the site’s owners Peel Ports and I know they would welcome a range of proposals for a major new project. Given the substantial interest it’s clear we have a real opportunity here. We must act quickly and strike while the iron is hot.
Certainly we should examine how we can best maximise the opportunity through the major City Deal Project which involves the Scottish, UK and local governments. This is why I am calling for a taskforce including all the relevant stakeholders alongside Inverclyde’s elected representatives to be formed.
I hope that by acting together we can bring manufacturing back to the Lower Clyde and ensure a long-term future for Inchgreen Drydock.