The 90-year-old TS Queen Mary has been moved from its berth at Glasgow Science Centre to Govan Graving Docks following the award of a £1 million contract for the historic steamer's refurbishment.

Marine Projects Scotland will undertake the first phase of major restoration and repair work on the TS Queen Mary, once known as Britain's finest pleasure steamer. It becomes the first ship to be berthed at Govan Graving Docks in almost 40 years, creating 12 new jobs.

In its heyday the Dumbarton-built ship once carried King George VI, the Queen Mother, and Mrs Eleanor Roosevelt. During World War II it served as a lifeline for Scotland’s island communities, carrying around 13,000 passengers each week.

READ MORE: Restored TS Queen Mary to double as cruise ship and floating college

“It is a tremendous honour to be awarded the TS Queen Mary restoration contract," said Peter Breslin, managing director of Marine Projects Scotland. "In the coming year, we will devote ourselves tirelessly to safeguarding, protecting and reviving this exquisite and historically significant vessel.

“Securing this contract is testament to our commitment and confidence in the business viability of Govan Drydock. As a fully operational ship repair and maintenance facility, it has the capacity to generate employment opportunities and contribution to the ongoing reinvigoration of the Clyde waterfront.”

The scope of the year-long restoration work will be extensive and structurally complex, starting with a 3D laser map scan of the ship’s structure followed by the removal of the two funnels and wheelhouse, which will be completely rebuilt.


The ship will be encapsulated for the removal of the windows and teak boat and promenade decks, which will receive underdeck stiffening, before being replaced with completely new steel decks, all  of which is necessary to bring her back into active service.

Out of service for 35 years, the charity Friends of TS Queen Mary brought the ship back to the Clyde in 2016. The vessel was listed on the United Kingdom’s official historical ships register in 1996 and is now the last of its kind in the world.

Iain Sim, Chairman of Friends of TS Queen Mary, said:  “The Trustees are delighted that this major contract will commence in TS Queen Mary’s 90th anniversary year.

READ MORE: Stunning 3D laser-generated image of historic TS Queen Mary unveiled

"It will be truly transformative for this vital part of our maritime heritage. This major structural work will help breathe new life into TS Queen Mary and ensure she will be in the best possible condition for years to come.”

Govan Graving Docks is onwed by New City Vision. New City chairman Harry O’Donnell said the restoration contract is an important part of wider plans to bring the docks back into use while also creating new homes and commercial space.

“We are delighted that such a historic ship as the TS Queen Mary will be restored at our site in Govan," Mr O'Donnell said.

"It is testament to the hard work that Marine Projects Scotland Ltd has done to date on Dock No1 that it is now in a position to be brought back into working order for the first time in more than 40 years."