Economic and Social Impact of Dockyard Closures & Heritage Renewal: Lessons to be Learned

Ann Coats's picture
Call for Papers
April 22, 2023
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, Local History, Military History, Public History, Social History / Studies

Naval Dockyards Society 27th Annual Conference (hybrid)

National Maritime Museum Greenwich Saturday 22 April 2023

What are the social and economic effects of dockyard closures on their communities – anywhere in the world?

Johnman and Murphy contended: ‘Unemployment eroded national competitiveness, produced localised misery and was wasteful of state resources.’ (Effects of Interwar Depression on Clydeside, International Journal of Maritime History, 18:1, 2006, 233)

In 1945 the Royal Navy operated 800 vessels, by 1982 only 59 surface ships. In 1981 Defence Secretary Nott decreed losses of up to 20,000 civilian defence employees. Portsmouth MP Bonner-Pink replied: ‘the reduction at Portsmouth and the closing of Chatham will have severe repercussions in the neighbourhoods of both ports’, while Gillingham MP Burden stated: ‘about 9,000 men and women employed in the dockyard will now cease work two or three years hence.’ (, cc388, 393, 397, 399).

Are closure outcomes always negative, or can communities benefit from renewal? Speakers will analyse globally diverse revival routes.

If your proposal is accepted, we will pay travel expenses (not longhaul flights; if outside Europe your talk will be online), conference fee and lunch, publish it in Transactions with a courtesy copy. Your talk will be 25 minutes, the printed paper 6–10K words, 3 months post-Conference.

Send your title, a 300-word synopsis, a 100-word biography and queries by 15 February 2023 to Ann Coats

Contact Info: 

Dr Ann Coats