Century-old Titan Crane that helped build battleships set to reopen

The Titan Crane in Clydebank was closed in January 2018 to allow maintenance work and repairs to be carried out.

Century-old Titan Crane that helped build battleships set to reopen Munro1 via iStock
Clydebank: The Titan Crane was closed in January 2018 to allow maintenance work and repairs to be carried out.

A century-old crane in West Dunbartonshire that has been closed to the public since 2018 is to reopen next spring.

The 150ft-high Titan Crane in Clydebank became operational in 1907 and was designed to be used in the lifting of heavy equipment, such as engines and boilers, while fitting-out battleships and ocean liners at the John Brown & Company shipyard.

Clydebank Property Company (CPC) now operates the crane but has never made a sufficient amount of money to cover its running costs. 

The Titan Crane was closed in January 2018 to allow maintenance work and repairs to be carried out and was supposed to reopen the following year. 

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West Dunbartonshire Council is now working with CPC, looking at ways to improve visitor experiences, but an exact plan is yet to be revealed. 

The local authority is looking for funding opportunities to enhance the heritage of the area, increase the number of visitors to the site and review operating procedures.

An update was brought before the infrastructure, regeneration and economic development committee last week.

Labour councillor Gail Casey said: “I am delighted to see the Titan Crane coming back into action. 

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“In the past it never really washed its hands, but I am happy to see there is an operational plan to bring the Titan Crane back as it is a great opportunity for tourism.

“I have been up the crane two or three times and it is a fabulous view from the top. So given the right plan, I am sure it could be a success.

“Have we started to explore funding options for it?”

A council officer confirmed that operational plans for the next financial year are being developed and an update would be circulated to members once it was ready.

Malcolm Bennie, chief officer for citizens, culture and facilities, said: “It is a bit of a chicken and egg situation as we are making sure it is possible to get access to the site safely for the public.

“There is a significant amount of investment that could go into this site in terms of complimentary visitor attractions and facilities. 

“Officers are exploring those and are looking to work with the Clydebank Property Company. I will make sure there is an update included in the briefing as well.”

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By local democracy reporter Catherine Hunter