Shipbuilders sculpture milestone as work starts

WORK has begun to pave the way for a major piece of public art in Port Glasgow.

Contractors started on the foundations for the 10-metre (33 feet) tall ‘Shipbuilders of Port Glasgow’ in the town’s Coronation Park on Monday morning.

Sat atop the base will be a 14-tonne, stainless steel sculpture of two shipyard workers designed and built by renowned artist John McKenna.

Work on the foundations is expected to be completed by the end of November, subject to weather conditions and material supplies, with installation of the artwork itself to follow early in the new year.

The sculpture, which was chosen following a public vote, will pay tribute to the illustrious shipbuilding past of Port Glasgow and Inverclyde and also serve as a modern-day tourist attraction.

Councillor Michael McCormick, Inverclyde Council’s convener of environment and regeneration, pictured with a miniature version of the artwork, said: “This is a key milestone in the delivery of what will be a hugely impressive piece of art that will be enjoyed and admired by residents and tourists alike. 

Work is underway to lay the foundations for the 'Shipbuilders of Port Glasgow' sculpture at Coronation Park. Pictured are councillors Michael McCormick and Robert Moran with a maquette of what the sculpture will look like
Councillors Michael McCormick and Robert Moran at the site of the 'Shipbuilders of Port Glasgow' sculpture with a maquette of what the artwork will look like.

“Port Glasgow and Inverclyde was world-famous for building ships, and huge ones at that, so it’s quite fitting that we are commemorating that legacy with a world-class and imposing monument.

“The sculpture will also become an iconic landmark to encourage more people to visit the area and discover what Inverclyde has to offer.

“I’m delighted to finally see work underway and I look forward to seeing the full-size version in place early next year.”

The artwork is thought to be the largest sculptural figure of a shipbuilder in the UK and one of the biggest of its kind in Western Europe.

To allow for the work to take place, there is a temporary traffic order in force along the main access road to Coronation Park and a section of the car park prohibiting vehicles from parking, waiting, loading or unloading.

Any vehicles found in breach of the order will be subject to a penalty charge notice.