Cleland Shipbuilders was established by William Cleland in 1866 based at Willington Quay in Wallsend. The yard became one of the UK's leading builders of coastal vessels. During the 1930s it got into financial difficulties. It was acquired by Swan Hunter in 1967 and was nationalised in 1977 at which time it was subsumed into British Shipbuilders. The yard closed down in 1984.