Shipbuilders offices set for relaunch

12 Sep 2008

by Jonathan Rennie, Evening Times

One of the South Side of Glasgow's most historic buildings could be re-developed as offices.

Commercial property agents Ryden have spearheaded an investigation into the possibility of reviving the fortunes of disused former Fairfield Shipyard offices on the River Clyde in Govan.

A feasibility study, commissioned by commercial landlord Govan Workspace Limited, found there was potential demand for offices at the property from the local business community, the public sector and the creative and specialist technical industries.

The building's heritage, architectural and maritime connections were identified by Ryden as particularly attractive features to creative and technical industries.

Following these findings, funding of around £4million is being sought from statutory and heritage bodies such as Historic Scotland, Glasgow City Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund to save the building from its current dilapidation.

The plan would be to create a modern office complex of 11 suites totalling more than 16,000sq ft and a local heritage centre.

The building, which is Category A Listed, was designed in 1890 by architect John Keppie, and served as the main offices for the Fairfield Shipyard until 2001.

Since then the premises have been vacant and have fallen into disrepair.

It is hoped the building, if properly developed, could become one of the landmarks in the proposed Govan Conservation Area.

Pat Cassidy, Govan Workspace managing director said: "The Fairfield building is currently on the Government's Building at Risk Register, however, it has great potential for re-development.

"We needed specialist advice on the local office market to identify likely demand, and Ryden was able to assist with this straight away".

Iain Wardrop, Associate in Ryden's Consulting Group commented: "This is a well known building and deserves to be saved.

"If the re-development goes ahead it will create job opportunities and bring an interesting local education resource to the area, which is great."

The Fairfield yard first opened in 1867 equipped with six shipbuilding berths and a fitting-out basin.

The first ship was launched in 1868, and the engine and boiler works were completed in 1874.

It was famous in the late 19th and early 20th century for producing passenger liners such as Cunard's SS Campania as well as naval ships such as HMS Indomitable.

Reproduced with the permission of The Evening Times (Glasgow) © Newsquest (Herald & Times) Ltd. 

  • Former shipyard offices