Proposal for Stranraer to be the new home for historic tall ship

Falls of Clyde International Ltd visited Stranraer last week to evaluate the possibility of bringing a tall ship to the town.

Falls of Clyde is currently located in Hawaii, but there are plans to bring it home to Scotland
Falls of Clyde is currently located in Hawaii, but there are plans to bring it home to Scotland

The Glasgow-based group is currently searching for a new home for the 'Falls of Clyde', an iron hull sailing ship, built in Port Glasgow in 1878.

The ship is currently berthed in Honolulu harbour, with the former Stena Line port now under consideration as its new home.

The site, which has been unused for a decade since Stena switched to Cairnryan, would not only see the four-masted former oil tanker and cargo carrier being rebuilt for a return to sea.

As well as Falls of Clyde, the harbour would also be home to a former Royal Navy Type21 Warship.

Additional plans could see the creation of a visitor village to cater to an anticipated increase in the tourism sector, while longer term, the company will import ethically produce products and carry Sail-cargo.

The estimated cost of the project is around £15/£20m and commercial partnerships are currently being worked on to provide the necessary funding.

Mark Williamson from Stranraer is hoping to meet with Dumfries and Galloway Council and enterprise agencies to discuss the impact on the local economy and employment.

Last month the bid to remove the Falls of Clyde was accepted by state officials at the Department of Transportation (Harbours) in Hawaii.

David O’Neill has headed the group since finding out about the ship’s plight via Facebook in 2015.

He said: “Now we can work with engineering support to make plans to bring her home to Scotland, where it is planned that she will be rebuilt to sail the oceans as she once did.

"Stranraer is a big site and offers more space than others being looked at. We are inviting local councils and enterprise agencies to consider if they can offer support to ready the site.

"We are happy to talk to potential partners, solutions providers, event sponsors and investors, interested in clean emission Sailcargo, education at sea and skills training with communities as part of the process.”