And finally… U-Crane Bolt

And finally... U-Crane Bolt

Port director Jim McSporran with competition winners Avaleigh Lang (left) and Frances McFadden

Two new cranes are to be called Craner Swift and U-Crane Bolt after a pair of creative schoolkids won the chance to name the huge structures.

Avaleigh Lang, 10, of Lady Alice Primary in Greenock, chose Craner Swift as a nod to the US pop icon, while Frances McFadden, 10, of the town’s St Mary’s Primary School opted for U-Crane Bolt as a tribute to the Jamaican Olympic gold medallist in the naming competition.

The pair were chosen as joint winners after pupils in the town were asked to find the most imaginative names for the vital pieces of infrastructure, due to arrive at the Port of Greenock later this year.

Avaleigh and Frances were praised for the creative choice by port owner Peel Ports Clydeport, who ran the competition in partnership with Inverclyde Council.

Construction of the new 39m-tall cranes was completed in Ireland ahead of their arrival in the coming months to Greenock. It is expected they will be fully operational later this year, following stringent testing.

The £25m cranes are the largest single investment made at the container terminal and comes less than a year after a new £20 million cruise ship visitor centre opened at the neighbouring Greenock Ocean Terminal.

The new cranes, once installed, will boost productivity and efficiency further at the ever-evolving port, bringing more opportunities for global connections and worldwide trade into Greenock, boosting its position as a major Scottish port.

Jim McSporran, port director at Peel Ports Clydeport, said: “We all loved Avaleigh and Frances’ suggestion for the names of our new cranes.

“The names give a nod to the capabilities of our new cranes, so they were the standout choices and really raised a smile within our team, and we hope interest within the wider community too.

“I’d like to thank all children that entered the competition. We would be really pleased to have Avaleigh and Frances as our guests when we unveil Craner Swift and U-Crane Bolt, which will become an important part of our local skyline for decades to come.

“Construction of the cranes is already complete, and they will arrive in the coming months, before being fully operational later this year. They will significantly expand our freight capability at the port, as well as improve efficiency and help significantly reduce our carbon footprint, so it’s a really exciting time for us as a business and also for the local region and west coast of Scotland.”

Having been informed of the news, Primary six pupil Avaleigh said: “I’m a big Taylor Swift fan and I’m really pleased to win.”

Frances, also in primary six, added: “U-Crane Bolt made people in my class laugh, so it’s great to hear it was chosen as a winner.”

Dozens of suggestions were entered by pupils across the local area for the competition, with the port operator then choosing the winning entries from that list.

The unveiling of the cranes will take place later in 2024, with Avaleigh and Frances having their name added to a ceremonial plaque which will be displayed alongside the cranes. Peel Ports Clydeport will make a donation to each pupil’s school to support the purchase of new school supplies.

Councillor Francesca Brennan, Inverclyde Council’s vice-convener of education and communities, said: “This is a fun way to get our young people involved in the ongoing redevelopment of the Port of Greenock and secure their own little piece of history by naming the two new cranes.

“School pupils have been involved in the new Greenock Ocean Terminal visitor centre so it’s a good learning opportunity for our children and young people to learn about the freight side of the port, which is also important for the local economy.

“Well done to Avaleigh and Frances and I’m sure they will now be watching on with great interest for the cranes arriving later this year. Who knows, their namesakes might be watching on now too.”

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