Scotland's Best Kept Secret

Save Falls of Clyde International

4. Quality Education 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 10. Reduced Inequalities 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 14. Life Below Water

Overview

Ships such as the Falls of Clyde have opened the seaways for the new designs of the British Merchant Fleets of the 20th Century. Once up on a time described as the fastest steam ships and turbine powered innovators of their days. They assisted Britain in establishing themselves as the seafaring, trading capital and supplier of goods globally, that put the “Great” before Britain. Ships generally tend to be given a 25-year life span. However, as the 140-year-old “piece of eye candy” that currently resides in Honolulu, it has been said that her iron armour is what has saved her for such a long period of time. David O’Neill sought out to not only bring back a piece of Scotland’s heritage home, but to bring her back to life. Through the means of social platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn, Mr O’Neill has been able to create a high and unexpected level of interest. The plan for this ship, is to bring her to her homeland (Scotland), restore her, not only to return her to her magnificent original state, but to use the latest technology through engineering ingenuity to create a sustainable and versatile vessel. The Falls of Clyde is expected to take between 3-4 years to restore and rebuild. However, during and upon completion, she is set to generate jobs, value, education and wealth. The ship will be equipped with the best equipment, the latest technology in navigation and communication aids and brought back to life to do what she does best, sail the ocean. The project aims to rejuvenate the last surviving member of the Matson Navigation Pacific Fleet. Through innovation and creativity, the possibilities for this 140-year-old ship are endless.

Authors

Maria Anna Garry

Maria Anna Garry

Toni Jones

Toni Jones

Lisa McKenzie

Lisa McKenzie

School

Glasgow Caledonian University

Glasgow Caledonian University

Professor

Muzammal Khan

Muzammal Khan

Innovation

Ships such as the Falls of Clyde have opened the seaways for the new designs of the British Merchant Fleets of the 20th Century. Once up on a time described as the fastest steam ships and turbine powered innovators of their days. They assisted Britain in establishing themselves as the seafaring, trading capital and supplier of goods globally, that put the “Great” before Britain. Ships generally tend to be given a 25-year life span. However, as the 140-year-old “piece of eye candy” that currently resides in Honolulu, it has been said that her iron armour is what has saved her for such a long period of time. David O’Neill sought out to not only bring back a piece of Scotland’s heritage home, but to bring her back to life. Through the means of social platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn, Mr O’Neill has been able to create a high and unexpected level of interest. The plan for this ship, is to bring her to her homeland (Scotland), restore her, not only to return her to her magnificent original state, but to use the latest technology through engineering ingenuity to create a sustainable and versatile vessel. The Falls of Clyde is expected to take between 3-4 years to restore and rebuild. However, during and upon completion, she is set to generate jobs, value, education and wealth. The ship will be equipped with the best equipment, the latest technology in navigation and communication aids and brought back to life to do what she does best, sail the ocean. The project aims to rejuvenate the last surviving member of the Matson Navigation Pacific Fleet. Through innovation and creativity, the possibilities for this 140-year-old ship are endless.

Scotland's Best Kept Secret

Inspiration

The project is of great importance to Mr O’Neill since he was born and raised in the Gorbals, in the South Bank of the riverside in Glasgow, Scotland. He was able to create an out-of-the-norm (for the area) lifestyle.  He was given an opportunity to do better, a chance that many people from his hometown do not have the chance of receiving, as he stated, “someone always steps in to help you”. However, the initial inspiration came from another historic ship called the James Craig, which had been submerged in a river in Australia for over 60 years, with only her top deck showing, “when they no longer needed her, she was taken to a swampy area and they were going to knock holes in her and let her sink, however, in the 1980s a group of enthusiasts lifted her out of the river and she now sails all around Australia and New Zealand, under full sail. Now young members from across the country can go on-board and enjoy sail-training experiences and she is absolutely beautiful.”

Overall impact

Overall, the Falls of Clyde will be a platform for new technologies for Scottish engineering. She will transfer niche (fair trade) products, high in quality, around the globe. On board, students, will be given the opportunity to have “a once-in-a-life-time experience” to travel the world, gain new experiences, gain a high-quality education and aim for a common environmental goal. A transformed Falls of Clyde can be self-sustaining and self-sufficient by moving cargo, educating the students of tomorrow, carrying fee paying passengers and members of the community who would receive an opportunity to travel the world whilst also being a member of the crew. Ultimately, the project will be a ship that will create value, jobs, education and economy. She will be a plausible work of art that will be described as “living heritage” and become the pride of the Clyde and Scotland.

When asked “Which of the 10 principles of the United Nations Global Compact initiatives most describe ‘his story’” principles 6, The elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation” is most adequate. He said, The elimination of discrimination in respect to employment and occupation is what I believe everybody should have an opportunity to have.” However, principle 8, undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility, can also describe Mr O’Neill’s project since environmental protection will be displayed by clearing the rivers and seas of discarded plastic.

Business benefit

The Save the Falls of Clyde project, originally a non-profit organisation, is now destined to be a social enterprise with community ties. The project has received much attention, specifically from a variety of interested commercial groups, such as Clyde Blowers, Ferguson Marine, Malin Fabrication and Star Renewables. Clyde Blowers is a private investment house that has requested a business plan. Early indications are that they could offer help to provide the project with the financial support to reach their estimate of 15 million pounds required to restore the Falls of Clyde. Initially, the project set out to become a charity as the purpose is to help society and give back to the communities, specifically to areas like the Gorbals, by giving people the opportunity to learn and achieve skills that they would otherwise not have the chance to gain given their circumstances. However, as thoughts turned to how she would be able to sustain herself, it became clear that this venture could also contribute greatly to the economy by providing employment, creating a major tourist attraction and boosting business in local areas all over Scotland as she sails from port to port. In addition, to contributing to society and the environment. Despite the project never having any intentions to rely on public funding, there has been a substantial amount of interest from the Scottish Government, Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland and some private investors. The project business plan anticipates a healthy return per annum, this is after taking into consideration the cost of running and maintaining the vessel which has been calculated at 1.5 million pounds per annum. As the project is set to achieve revenue through teaching cadets, fair trade cargo and work experience holiday packages, it is estimated that the projected net profit could reach a staggering 5 million pounds per year. The Save the Falls of Clyde project has also voiced that, in the future, it is keen to offer the public the opportunity to purchase shares. Finally, there are many benefits to this project including: benefits to the business, the society, the environment and the economy.

Some additional business benefits include:

1.      The creation of an Inverclyde (1 of 32 council areas in Scotland) pop-up that will attract tourism which will lead to a local attraction for cruise ship visitors/enthusiasts;

2.      The re-establishment of the Clyde as a place known for its technological innovation and centre of excellence;

3.      The creation of on-site restaurants and retail shops that will generate jobs;

4.      The creation of a local apprenticeship - which will create jobs;

5.      The development and enhancement of a relationship between communities and engineering locally;

6.      A heritage site in honour of the shipbuilding in the port of Glasgow;

7.      The creation of a legacy that will generate a sense of optimism and opportunity; and

8.      To boost local suppliers for materials, skills and expertise

Social and environmental benefit

However, having a social enterprise aiming for environmental sustainability as its core and wanting to emerge into the business world as a profitable institution, with, again, environmental sustainability as one of its aims, is unique. In addition, the project unravels two distinctive benefits. The social and the environmental benefits which will be explained below.

SDG 4 – Quality education to students aged 15 and over from the Gorbals (and other areas). During their time on the ship, students will have educational opportunities (with on-board programmes) to evolve and develop their own interests. While also learning about the mechanical side of the ship and the marine environment, students will rid the ocean of plastics.

SDG 9 – The ship’s rebuilding will occur for an innovative and creative reason: education and the environment.

SDG 10 – The business is committed to equal opportunities and diversity in the workplace. It will recruit the professional that is most suitable for the job but who can also recognize and support race, sex, nationality, age, religious beliefs and disabled individuals.

SDG 11 – Environmental awareness will be displayed since plastic will be collected from the sea. However, sustainability will also be displayed by creating jobs and maintaining prosperity.

SDG 14 – The company’s objectives are:

  • To minimize their carbon foot print and any negative impact on the environment;
  • To reduce and dispose waste arising from operations in a manner
  • that minimises and prevents pollution of land, air and water; and
  • To reduce the consumption of energy and water and use renewable and/or recyclable resources wherever possible.

Interview

David O'Neill , Founder

David O'Neill , Founder

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Save Falls of Clyde International

Save Falls of Clyde International

Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Business Website: http://www.fallsofclydehi.weebly.com

Year Founded: 2016

Number of Employees: 51 to 200

Launched in 1878 in the river Clyde, the Falls of Clyde is a 140-year-old ship that is now a designated landmark in Honolulu, Hawaii. She is the last remaining four-masted iron hull ship and one of the fastest of her time. Her first six years were engaged in the India trade. However, in 1905 she was purchased by the new company Matson Navigation Co and converted to become an oil tanker, as she transferred oil from San Francisco to Honolulu for a number of years before being sold on. She was then shunted around Alaska having been involved in the fishing and logging sectors then ultimately to Hawaii where she settled and has remained ever since. In 2016, a group of passionate Gorbals individuals with the common aim of saving items of Scottish heritage, discovered the ship. David O’Neill, the leading member of the project, wanted to bring her back to Scotland. Saving her from the depths of her despair, since the Hawaiian authorities wanted to dispose her because she occupied a Pier that they needed to restore and put back to commercial use. David O’Neill does not want her to only become a product of salvation, his goal is to utilise the ship for the benefit of communities across the country and to sustain the deprived areas like the Gorbals and Greenock (areas in Scotland) by giving opportunities to the less fortunate individuals to use her as a platform of education where quality education will be provided, inequalities will be diminished and environmental sustainability will be performed on the ship to ultimately put her back to sea.

She will also generate jobs and decent work conditions and simultaneously, generate income from the fee-paying tourists who will see a piece of history that is a sign of innovation and a symbol of Scottish maritime heritage. Ultimately, the Falls of Clyde is an ongoing project, without the privilege of a premises, the premises will be the finalised ship itself. Stating this, the project can be described as a social enterprise since income will be generated for students’ education and teachers’ salaries. With his mission to Join this ship, follow the Journey and change Lives and his vision to Share Scottish Heritage, unlock potential and build better lives through opportunity, education and conservation, Mr O’Neill is on the verge of change.