Sculpture work set to start

WORK is set to get underway on a giant 33-foot sculpture in Port Glasgow.

The huge ‘Shipbuilder of Port Glasgow’ stainless steel figures designed and built by famous artist John McKenna will be delivered to their new, permanent home in the town’s Coronation Park on Sunday (30 January 2022) ahead of assembly beginning on Monday, subject to weather conditions.

The foundations were laid late last year and are now ready to accommodate the pair of 14-tonne figures of shipyard workers hard at work in tribute to Port Glasgow and Inverclyde’s rich shipbuilding history. 

Shipbuilders of Port Glasgow sculpture during test build in 2020

Assembly of the figures is expected to take around two weeks, subject to weather conditions, once they have been transferred from the artist’s Ayrshire base where they were designed and built. 

Work will follow to install lighting, signage and improve surrounding footpaths.

During the assembly phase there will be parking restrictions in the area, including along the park’s access road similar to the restrictions in place late last year to accommodate the laying of foundations.

Councillor Michael McCormick, Inverclyde Council’s convener of environment and regeneration, said: “I know there has been a lot said about this project but I’m really looking forward to seeing the figures coming home to Port Glasgow and for the assembly of what will be an iconic landmark for the town and the whole of Inverclyde.

“We’re at last at the crucial final stage of this project and realising artist John McKenna’s vision to honour our rich shipbuilding past and the hard-working people who worked in our yards making Inverclyde and the River Clyde renowned the world over.

“We’re actively promoting the area and encouraging people to visit Inverclyde and discover what it has to offer and I’m sure these sculptures will be Inverclyde’s very own Kelpies attracting people from near and far.”

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

For more information about what Inverclyde has to offer visit and keep up to date with the progress of the Shipbuilders of Port Glasgow via Inverclyde Council’s social media channels.