The Scottish Government: Save the University Marine Biology Station, Millport, from closure.
  • Petitioned Michael Russell

This petition was delivered to:

Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning, Government of Scotland
Michael Russell
First Minister of Scotland
Alex Salmond

The Scottish Government: Save the University Marine Biology Station, Millport, from closure.

    1. Mark Blaxter
    2. Petition by

      Mark Blaxter

      Edinburgh, United Kingdom

UMBS Millport is a unique and irreplaceable marine and coastal biology facility based on the Isle of Cumbrae in the Firth of Clyde (see For over 100 years the Millport Marine Station has been a crucial part of a network of research stations round the UK and European coasts. In the last 30 years it has also become a leading teaching facility, with over a thousand students visiting each year to experience first hand marine and coastal science: experiences that they take on into their lives and work as researchers and opinion formers. UMBS Millport not only has a remarkable past - it also has a very positive role to play in the future as a teaching institution, as a key research facility, as a part of a network of marine monitoring sites, and as a major employer on Cumbrae. The future of the Millport Marine Station is at risk because of shortfalls in funding, and we thus ask the Scottish Government to work with others in education, industry and statutory bodies to ensure the Millport Marine Station remains open.

see for more information.

Press reports describing the situation are at:

Letter from Scottish teachers in the Scotsman:

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 12,500 signatures
    2. Millport on BBC Scotland news

      Mark Blaxter
      Petition Organizer

      The Millport Marine Station closure was on the BBC news in advance of the meeting at the University of London that is to consider closure plans: see
      to view the report.

      Cumbrae research centre under threat

      Residents on the Isle of Cumbrae say the possible closure of a marine research centre will devastate the island's economy.

    3. Petition handed over to Michael Russell, Scottish Government

      Mark Blaxter
      Petition Organizer
      Michael Russel accepting the 10,000+ signature petition from Prof. Graham Stone, a course leader who has been taking undergraduates to the Millport Marine Station for many years. We await formal announcement of the outcome of the meeting held this morning at the Scottish Government between political, science and education leaders, including representatives of the University of London.

    4. Handing the 10,000 signature petition to the Scottish Government

      Mark Blaxter
      Petition Organizer

      Last night we reached 10,000 signatures - in 6 days!
      8 am Thursday: We are taking the printed petition and some of your wonderful comments to the Scottish Government this morning. People from Millport and the academic community will be there - watch for press reports.

    5. Reached 10,000 signatures
    6. We are taking the petition to the Scottish Government on Thursday 17th

      Mark Blaxter
      Petition Organizer

      The petition (as I write) is very, very close to 10,000 signatures.
      Scottish academics, along with people from Millport, are taking your signatures to the Scottish Parliament to present to Michael Russell (Education Secretary) early in the morning of 17th January. There is a meeting in the Scottish parliament later in the morning involving community leaders, academics and the government to discuss the possibilities for the Marine Biology Station, and we hope for positive news.
      Keep on signing!

    7. Reached 9,000 signatures
    8. Early day motion in Parliament

      Mark Blaxter
      Petition Organizer

      Katy Clark, the local Westminster MP, has tabled an Early Day Motion in the Westminster Parliament ( This is an invitation to the parliament to discuss the issue, and so far 27 MPs have signed it. Because Millport serves the whole of the UK, the closure of Millport Marine Station is an issue for the whole of the UK: if your MP has not signed the motion, why not email her / him and ask if she / he will do so.

    9. 4000 signatures in 48 hrs ! and a response from Kenneth Gibson, local MSP

      Mark Blaxter
      Petition Organizer

      We are humbled by the statements of support from around the world, and the 4000 of you who have added your names to the petition. I have been in contact with the local Member of the Scottish Parliament, Kenneth Gibson ( and he and the education secretary Mike Russell, are very aware of your efforts. He said:

      "Mr Russell has made it absolutely clear he will do all he can within his power to ensure the UMBSM survives... I can assure you that my own and Mr Russell's efforts are dedicated to securing the best possible outcome for the UMBSM, it's staff and the people of Cumbrae."

      Let's keep on the pressure to ensure that the Station is maintained: for science, for education, as a resource and for the local economy.

    10. Reached 4,000 signatures
    11. 2000 signatures in less than 24 hours: amazing!

      Mark Blaxter
      Petition Organizer

      We have added over 2000 signatures in just 24 hours. This demonstrates the support for the Millport Marine Station, from across the UK (Unst to Penzance!) and all round the world (California, Swaziland, New Zealand, ...).

    12. Reached 2,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Garfield Kwan HACIENDA HEIGHTS, CA
      • 8 months ago

      Marine biology is a crucial field that is often overlooked. Research must continue or we will prevent humanity from progressing.

      • 9 months ago

      Great passages of my childhood are associated with the UMBS, and I'd hate that future youths and students should be deprived.

      • 10 months ago

      Marine Biology is important to Scotland's economy and that of Millport. As a frequent visitor to Millport with my family, we have enjoyed the facilities at the Marine Station.

      • 11 months ago

      Any institution which works in favour of helping to balance our eco-system is an establishment well worth safeguarding..and funding..

    • mona rigaud FRANCE
      • 11 months ago

      Sea temperature is up affecting and modifying deep-sea plankton important for the survival to some kind of fishes, sea level is up, climate changes as o. I believe its important to keep a wise eye open up there in order to report .


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