A permanent exhibition home for George Wyllie (?)

Above - George Wyllie and his iconic paper boat

Plans are being developed which could create a permanent home for a George Wyllie exhibition in Greenock.

For, Inverclyde Council, as part of the Glasgow City Region City Deal have prepared proposals which could incorporate a ‘Wyllieum’, a permanent exhibition and arts space, into a new Greenock Ocean Terminal building.

The project, being developed in partnership with Peel Ports and Riverside Inverclyde, will, if approved, deliver a new visitor centre and berthing facility in Greenock to safeguard and grow the cruise ship market to Inverclyde. As part of the outline business case, it is estimated that an increase to 100 cruise ships and 150,000 passengers through Greenock Ocean Terminal could deliver £26m in annual visitor and crew spend to the Scottish economy.

Inverclyde Council’s Environment and Regeneration Convener, Councillor Michael McCormick, said:

“The Greenock Ocean Terminal project was already an exciting one as part of the wider City Deal to safeguard and grow the cruise ship visits to Greenock. The possibility of the building being an iconic structure on the banks of the Clyde which could be a permanent home to the George Wyllie collection will come as a very positive opportunity to the many admirers of George’s work.  I know the members of the George Wyllie Foundation have been examining a range of locations to house a permanent collection for many years and their preferred location is Greenock where George worked as a custom and excise officer. This proposal requires approval by the Council and through the cabinet and governance system in the Glasgow City Region City Deal. As a key City Deal project, Greenock Ocean Terminal aims to make a significant contribution to economic growth and international tourism across the wider city region area.”

The George Wyllie Foundation said:

“The Trustees welcome this opportunity to create a home for the George Wyllie Foundation on the Clyde in Greenock, so that George's legacy can continue to engage and inspire the community and visitors to Scotland.  This proposed new arts space will provide a new resource for exhibitions, education and community projects."

The Greenock Ocean Terminal project to create a visitor centre and berthing facility is expected to cost £14.7m as part of the £1bn Glasgow City Region City Deal which is funded equally by the Scottish and UK governments.

The proposal for a new Wyllie exhibition space could also include a new landmark building for Greenock being developed by Richard Murphy Associates, one of Scotland’s most celebrated architect firms. The company has won an unprecedented 22 RIBA Awards.

If the outline business case is approved, a parallel design proposal for the Greenock Ocean Terminal will be undertaken with a second option incorporating a new George Wyllie exhibition space. The decision on the final building option is expected to take place in early 2018.

The proposals for a new berth and visitor centre at Greenock Ocean Terminal will be discussed at Inverclyde Council’s Environment and Regeneration Committee on Thursday 5 October 2017 and are subject to review and approval by the Glasgow City Region City Deal cabinet.


Above - Watch footage of the launch and creation of the iconic paper boat

Committee papers outlining the Ocean Terminal City Deal project are available to view online in the ‘committees and councillors’ section of Inverclyde Council’s website at www.inverclyde.gov.uk

George Wyllie (1921 – 2012) obituary published in The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2012/may/22/george-wyllie

Inverclyde artist Alec Galloway pays tribute to George Wyllie’s iconic question marks in the Clyde: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/clyde-tribute-to-george-wyllie-leaves-1360730