Angus MacDonald welcomes reprieve for Charlotte Dundas replica

Falkirk East Scottish Parliamentary candidate and Grangemouth SNP Councillor Angus MacDonald has welcomed a decision by Falkirk Council’s Leisure, Tourism and Community Committee to pursue a final attempt at establishing a project that would preserve the replica of the Charlotte Dundas ship as a monument.

The replica hull of the world’s first navigable steamship has been lying in storage for a number of years at Grangemouth docks, the Falkirk Wheel and now at MacKay’s boatyard in Arbroath. Attempts were made to include the ship in the plans for the Helix, however funding was not available. Attempts were also made to secure Heritage Lottery funding however, as the hull is a replica it did not qualify.cdreplica

Council officers have looked at a number of other options including transfer of ownership to the Scottish Maritime Museum however that was not possible on the grounds of cost. It has not been possible to identify an alternative potential owner. Other options include:

  • completing the original project at an estimated cost of £350,000
  • leaving the hull at the dockyard in Arbroath at an annual cost of £7,200,
  • retain and preserve the ship at a cost of £116,000 plus annual running costs of £18,000
  • destruction and replacement of the replica with a new memorial to be incorporated in the regenerated Grangemouth Town Centre

Welcoming the latest development Grangemouth SNP Councillor Angus MacDonald said:

“I am pleased that the committee has opted to look at a final attempt to preserve the replica as a monument. While this is not the original ship, many Portonians have an attachment to the replica as it is a reminder of Grangemouth’s proud maritime history and its contribution to the industrial revolution. The Charlotte Dundas helped put Grangemouth on the map and Portonians are rightly proud of that fact.”

“I am also encouraged to see the suggestion of the creation of a new memorial to the ship and its creator William Symington, which would be a high-profile public art commission and could be integrated into the regeneration of Grangemouth Town Centre.”

There are still a number of options to pursue with a further report coming to Councillors later in the year.

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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