The Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative - Protecting and promoting the evolving maritime heritage of the tidal River Clyde

Protecting and Promoting the Evolving Maritime Heritage of the Tidal River Clyde

Our Research & Development Activities and Case Studies
Abstract image of water bubbles

Research & Development

The Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative was born out of a campaign for the restoration of Govan's derelict graving docks as a maritime heritage park.

The background research and networking associated with the campaign has opened doors and identified opportunities to look at the wider context of maritime heritage. For a region having such a rich maritime heritage as the Clyde there is very little trace of this remaining and compared with other maritime regions - even others where most of the industry has also been lost. Little has been done to preserve the legacy of the Clyde and ensure it can adapt and remain relevant as a maritime region in the context of the modern world. Addressing this neglect and policy failure to date is at the very core of CDPI's activity.

River Clyde in Glasgow at night

The Clyde Needs a Connected Strategy

Our research and networking activity has identified a lack of joined up thinking throughout the Clyde region and between its local authority areas in terms of how heritage is managed. While there is a semblance of statutory protection for the historic environment there is no coherent vision for how the wider tangible, intangible, historic and living heritage can be developed and leveraged for social and economic benefit. Nor is there any strategy for the continuing development and unfoldment of heritage that we create now and pass on to future generations.


CDPI is not established as a single, self-contained body of detailed and broad expertise. As such our work involves consulting and collaborating with a diverse range of experts and organisations in fields relating to heritage, maritime industry, environmental issues, planning, and more.

Maritime Heritage Inventory

We are working to identify industrial and maritime heritage assets along the tidal Clyde Corridor that are in need of protection or present opportunity for community, heritage and tourism/leisure focused regeneration.

We have already identified a number of derelict sites that present opportunity for regeneration with historic features worthy of restoration and preservation.

However what is lacking is a comprehensive inventory of the Clyde's maritime artefacts, assets and resources - a central go-to resource to identify what exists where and track how the environment is changing - including a detailed photographic record.

We are preparing to identify what a resource of this nature would require and will be working to build a database over the coming years. The aim is that this will be able to be used as a reference source and guidance for future planning issues, education, local campaigns, etc.

Firth of Clyde

Govan Graving docks

Since the organisation was first launched, CDPI has campaigned extensively to block plans for a major housing development on the site of Govan's historic dry docks (graving docks). Our campaign also sought to build support for the Govan docks to be restored as a maritime heritage park, with wide benefits for the local area, small business, community activities and tourism.

Our research into Govan Graving Docks has been extensive and led to collate a great deal of reference material. Find out more in our Govan Graving Docks section...


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Sail Cargo

Use of wind power to propel ships for cargo transportation is making a comeback with vessels of all shapes and sizes in active use and research into more advanced designs being carried out by a number of expert groups.

Can the Clyde become part of the drive towards sail cargo?

Could we create a sail cargo hub on the Clyde and is Govan Graving Docks potentially a suitable location? That's a question we aim to answer through our networking and discussions with marine engineers and experts in the sail cargo industry.

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Clyde Festival

We are developing a plan to launch an annual Clyde Festival programme along the length of the Tidal River and firth along similar lines to London's Thames Festival. This aims to bring existing and new independent festival, events and activities together into a common marketing approach.

Join us in shaping a vision for a major celebration of the Clyde's past, present and future.

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Sites of Interest

We are working to identify industrial and maritime heritage assets along the tidal Clyde Corridor that are in need of protection or present opportunity for community, heritage and tourism/leisure focused regeneration...

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Case Studies & Reports

Derelict Govan Graving Docks dry dock Glasgow skyline

Govan Graving Docks Planning History

A 20 page report details the findings of our research into the history of planning and development proposals for Govan's derelict dry docks since they closed down in the late 1980s. Our conclusions cast considerable doubt on the viability and suitability of the site for residential development.

[Full Report] [Summary]

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