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Shore Street Public Realm Works - Project Overview

Above - The completed public realm and spur road works at Shore Street in Port Glasgow

The first images of the completed public realm and spur road works for the Port Glasgow Lower Town Quarter project have been released. 

Port Glasgow Town Centre Master Plan was developed in 2014 after extensive consultation with local residents and businesses identified the development of a new gateway into the town centre as a priority for investment.

The Port Glasgow Lower Town Quarter project received a Regeneration Capital Grant award from the Scottish Government and COSLA in 2016.

Above - The artists proposed design of the new Shore Street public realm

new spur road opened in November 2017, forming a new junction from the A8 with Shore Street and Princes Street allowing direct access to the town centre. The subsequent public realm works were completed in March 2018 and the project was delivered on behalf of Inverclyde Council by regeneration company Riverside Inverclyde.

Project Overview - Ironside Farrar 

In 2015, Riverside Inverclyde commissioned a design team, including Landscape Architects Ironside Farrar, to design and deliver a new square for Port Glasgow.  Linked to the formation of a new road access, a new square and gateway into the town centre to provide a new civic frontage to the Town Hall was the ambition. 

The approach to this design commission was grounded in the importance of local people, history and place.  Research and conversations with local people revealed opportunity to celebrate heritage and skills which made Port Glasgow world-famous for ship building. 

Above - A picture of the Lamont's Mould Loft (Courtesy of The Ballast Trust)

A visit to the town’s last remaining shipyard, at Ferguson Marine Engineering, gave more insight and detail on the practice of ‘lofting’.  Known as ‘the geometry of shipbuilding’, the frame of the ship is ‘laid out’ on the large floor of a ‘mould loft’ at full size, this layout is then used to prepare moulds for each structural component.  A visit to the yard’s ‘mould loft’ was made and opportunity to make use of drawings prepared for the RRS Discovery II, build at the yard in 1929, was offered. 

The design concept came together. The proposed new square offered the scale and proportions of a loft floor, and the idea to use this flat plane to lay out a scale ‘line plan’ of a ship became deliverable with the offer of original drawings.

Above - The R R S Discovery II Lines plan (Courtesy of Glasgow University Archives)

Ferguson Marine Engineering sourced copies of the original ’line plans’ from The University of Glasgow Archives. These hand drawings were then carefully, simplified developed and re-drawn using Computer Aided Design (CAD) by the design team for translation into the pattern of dark granite surfacing in the square. 

Now complete, the square brings back to life an important skill and process that one took place in Ferguson’s ‘loft’ which lives on in the memories of many of the people of Port Glasgow and their families.  It is also a poignant reference to Ferguson’s mould loft, recently removed to make way for the modernisation of yard infrastructure to maintain the future viability of the shipbuilding industry in Port Glasgow. 

The completed project pictures can be viewed below:

The Full Design Team members:

Will Rudd Davidson – Civil Engineering

Ironside Farrar – Landscape Architecture

Rybka – M&E

Gardiner & Theobald – QS

KTN Architects – CDM Principal Designer


The Port Glasgow Regeneration Strategy and Master Plan recommends environmental improvements to the town centre; removal of redundant buildings; the restoration of empty shop units to provide ‘fit for purpose’ retail space and new office and commercial accommodation.   

A second phase of the works will also include the demolition of redundant buildings at the rear of the Town Hall to create a new civic square.

Published: 24 April 2018