New Location for Proposed Port Glasgow Sculpture

Friday 1 September 2017

Inverclyde Council has approved a plan to relocate a proposed new £500,000 piece of public art paying tribute to Port Glasgow’s historic

The Shipbuilders of Port Glasgow Sculpture
'The Shipbuilders of Port Glasgow'


‘The Shipbuilders of Port Glasgow’ was originally to stand on the flat-topped traffic island at the western entrance to the town on Greenock Road.

The Environment & Regeneration Committee has agreed – subject to the Port Glasgow Regeneration Forum agreeing – to relocate the sculpture to Coronation Park.

Convener Councillor Michael McCormick said: “While the original plan to build the sculpture on the traffic island was a bold one it has become clear during the course of detailed design work that it is not ideal when it comes to maintenance.

“We have been working closely with the Port Glasgow Regeneration Forum to find an alternative location and after considering 16 other sites it is clear that Coronation Park is best suited.”

Already a striking ship’s hull sculpture ‘Endeavour’ has been installed at Fore Street as part of works to visually improve the town centre entrances.

‘The Shipbuilders of Port Glasgow’ pays tribute to the working people of the Clyde who built great ships and sent them to all corners of the world. Cast in stainless steel the orientation of the two figures on the traffic island site will allow people to see aspects of the sculpture from all angles.

Artist John McKenna has said: "The technique I employ in making my steel sculpture echoes the technique of building and plating ships. I create the underlying ribs of the structure from stainless steel box sections then I cut plates of steel to make the surface for the sculpture form, in this case two men at their work. This steel plating technique gives a strong dramatic faceted surface, a great sense of mass and a solid monumental form for a public sculpture.”

Councillor McCormick added: "The sculpture will create a significant new landmark and will announce the fact that you have arrived in Port Glasgow. The design reflects the town’s industrial history, the hardworking people who live there and who remember when the town was world-renowned for the quality and quantity of ships that it built”

The Port Glasgow Regeneration forum will consider the proposal at its next meeting on 18 September 2017. Should the Forum accept this location, Riverside Inverclyde will be instructed to commence necessary site investigation, design and planning approvals to progress the project at the new location.

Page last updated: 1 September 2017