Stuart McMillan SNP MSP for Scotland West, has today (Wednesday) raised the issue of the future of the Navy Buildings in Greenock with the UK Government.
In a letter to the Ministry of Defence, Mr McMillan has asked the Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond MP, what plans are being discussed or in-place for the future of the the buildings.
Stuart McMillan, who campaigned persistently to save Clyde Coastguard from closure – this service was based in the navy building – says: ‘It is apparent to me that since the May 2007 document was published, ‘Study into the Future of the Navy Buildings Greenock Site’, under the previous UK Labour Government, the future of the Navy Buildings was in doubt as were the various services, including the Coastguard within it.
‘I have campaigned strongly against the closure of Clyde coastguard as I believe the decision to close the base is both reckless and potentially dangerous.
‘Nevertheless, the decision has been taken to close the centre and I am writing to the UK Government to ascertain what plans the Ministry of Defence has for future use of the building.
‘Therefore, I believe it’s vital the building has a future, and steps must be taken to secure the facility with the hope of creating employment opportunities for the people of Inverclyde and the West of Scotland.’
The navy building is not only large, but, on its own headland with a lovely, sloping shingle beach below it, dominates the coastline between Gourock and Greenock.
It is a dominant and substantial building.
Whatever happens to this building – and its site – will be important for the economic regeneration of Inverclyde – and while this is particularly the case for Greenock and Gourock, it is possible that, depending on the specific nature of its future, it could have a bearing on relationships with Dunoon in Argyll. The Argyll Ferries passenger ferry between the two town centres of Dunoon and Gourock creates good mutual access.
Mr McMillan’s intervention on this issue is a timely one.