A NEW lease of life has been offered to a derelict dry dock in Glasgow that has been in a state of disuse for decades - in a move Inverclyde campaigners hope can spark similar activity in Greenock.

Glasgow City Council this week granted change of use permission for the category A-listed Govan dry dock, which has been out of action for almost 40 years, to reopen as a ship repair and maintenance facility.

Earlier this year, it was awarded the contract to carry out the first phase of major restoration and repair work to preserve the iconic steamer TS Queen Mary - a project being led by Inverclyde businessman Peter Breslin.

Greenock Telegraph: Inverclyde man Peter Breslin, right, is leading the TS Queen Mary repair project at Govan DrydockInverclyde man Peter Breslin, right, is leading the TS Queen Mary repair project at Govan Drydock (Image: NQ)

Welcoming the latest announcement, Robert Buirds, secretary of the Campaign to Save Inchgreen Dry Dock, praised the forward-thinking of elected members in Scotland's largest city and expressed his hope for a possible domino effect in Greenock.

Mr Buirds said: “It’s excellent news that Glasgow City Council has given the green light for the main dry dock to become fully operational.

"They should be congratulated on their support for marine engineering and for having the vision and wherewithal to support the growing demand for marine facilities.

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"We would like to think that this is a turning point in the regeneration of our marine facilities along the Clyde."

The local campaign group is demanding the empty dry dock at Inchgreen - declared a £1 billion industrial asset by an MSP with a shipbuilding past - is brought back into use following years of false dawns and failed promises.

Mr Breslin, managing director of Govan Drydock Limited, said: “Securing planning consent will allow us to continue the regeneration work on Govan dry dock, which has been derelict for the past 36 years.

"It is great news for the Govan area of Glasgow and will bring future job opportunities.

“It will also enable us to continue the repair and restoration work we have been undertaking over the past six months on the TS Queen Mary.”

Greenock Telegraph: Govan Drydock Number 1 has been given the green light to reopenGovan Drydock Number 1 has been given the green light to reopen (Image: NQ)

The re-opening of dry dock Number 1 is said to be a key component of the wider mixed-use proposals for the Govan Graving Docks site, led by New City Vision, which would see it transformed into a vibrant neighbourhood with new residential housing and a hub for community projects interwoven with the historic landmark.

Paul Sweeney MSP, convenor of the Scottish Parliament’s maritime and shipbuilding cross-party group, said he was 'delighted' by the news.

He added: “With support from Glasgow City Heritage Trust, the Arrol-built steel caisson dock gate will now be fully restored to working order, which will allow vessels to enter the dock – and make use of dry docking facilities, commencing with the re-engineering project for the iconic 1933 turbine steamer, Queen Mary.

“After 36 years of dereliction, it has been a life-long dream for me to see the rejuvenation of commercial shipbuilding and repair services on the upper Clyde."