Local politicians encouraged by Inchgreen dry dock activity

L-R: Cathal Doherty (UK director Roadbridge), Stuart MacMillan MSP, Ronnie Cowan MP, Douglas Coleman (project director Peel Ports Limited)

LOCAL politicians have paid a visit to Inchgreen dry dock where work on the new cruise ship berth at Greenock Ocean Terminal is nearing completion.

Stuart McMillan MSP and Ronnie Cowan MP were invited by Peel Ports to witness some of the projects underway at the facility, which is the largest mainland dry dock in the UK.

Work on the 200m-long pontoon for the new cruise ship berth was showcased. Civil engineers Roadbridge UK has a 40-strong team working on the project. Four large watertight containers, called caissons, each weighing over 1,000 tonnes, are being fabricated and will then be towed along the Clyde coast to Greenock to form the main elements of the floating cruise pontoon.

Andrew Hemphill, ports director at Peel Ports Clydeport said, “We have a specific long-term plan for Inchgreen and there has been plenty of interest in the facility for future projects. Fabrication of the cruise ship pontoon has obviously been an important project for Inchgreen and we are delighted to see it nearing completion. It is however just one of many projects coming on board for Inchgreen, which is an extremely versatile facility.

“The dry-dock is multi-purpose and can be used for civil construction, ship building or repair and decommissioning of ships, which is a growing market and offers a real opportunity for future work. Inchgreen is a facility that means a lot to the local area and we are confident that the fabrication of the cruise berth pontoon is just the beginning.”

Local MSP Stuart McMillan said, “It was incredibly encouraging to see the level of activity underway at Inchgreen. The £19m development at Greenock Ocean Terminal will bring significant benefits to the local economy and there appears to be plenty of future activity in the pipeline.”

MP Ronnie Cowan added, “This was an informative and positive visit to the dry dock, which I know is important to my constituents in Inverclyde. The Ocean Terminal development will clearly be a massive boost for the area and the fact that there are future projects in the pipeline is very good news.”

The cruise berth is part of a £19 million development in Greenock, which also includes a visitor centre, aimed at growing the town’s cruise industry to 150,000 passengers per annum and delivering a significant boost to the economy.

The Glasgow City Region City Deal has approved a contribution of £9.693 million to overall Greenock development from its overall £1 billion pot, which is funded equally by the Scottish and UK Governments. The balance of the marine and landside works will be paid for by Greenock Ocean Terminal operator Peel Ports (£8 million) and the George Wyllie Foundation from arts funder the Dunard Trust (£1.5 million).