In August 2010, the Scottish Government announced the decision to award preferred bidder status to Clipper Ship City of Adelaide Limited (CSCoAL) to remove the historic clipper City of Adelaide from the Irvine slipway leased by its owner, the Scottish Maritime Museum (SMM) from Ayrshire Metals.
This followed a review of the options then available to the SMM carried out by consultants DTZ. CSCoAL’s aim is to return the ship to Adelaide, South Australia, where it would be displayed as a heritage visitor attraction. The Sunderland built ship was commissioned originally to sail there and did so regularly for the first 23 years of its near 150 year life.
CSCoAL claimed to be able to remove the ship in 2010 but in the 9 months since the announcement, there appears to have been little progress. North Ayrshire District Council has granted Listed Building Consent to CSCoAL to remove the ship, subject to conditions designed to ensure her safe removal. The SMM have cleared out extraneous material to present a clean environment for the Australians to start work in. There has been no other apparent physical progress.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the Australians are having considerable difficulty with their plans and that there is little support ‘Down Under’ for yet another historic boat. The final location for the ship in Adelaide has still to be decided. Requests for state funding for the project have been turned down. Attempts to raise the $3.5 million Australian dollars transportation costs have not been successful and CSCoAL have recently announced that they are still seeking donations of material, voluntary labour and money along with funding from the Federal Government.