Top politicians meet Cabinet Secretary for shipyard talks

Senior politicians from Inverclyde Council are meeting Derek Mackay, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy & Fair Work, today (Thursday 25 July) for talks about the future of the Ferguson Marine shipyard in Port Glasgow.

Inverclyde Council Leader, Steven McCabe, and Leader of the Opposition, Chris McEleny, called for the meeting due to concerns over the future of the yard and reports that the Scottish Government intends to nationalise it.

Ferguson Marine is a key employer in the area and is the last commercial shipyard in Scotland.

The politicians had originally requested talks with Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister.

In a joint statement Cllr McCabe and Cllr McEleny said, “While we are disappointed that the First Minister has not responded to our request for a meeting, we welcome the opportunity to raise our serious concerns with the Cabinet Secretary.

“The crisis over the procurement of the CalMac ferries has cast a shadow over the yard’s prospects for securing future orders.

“The yard is a vital part of the local economy. It is also crucial to maintaining the capacity to build merchant vessels in Scotland and to maintain the skilled workforce required to service that capacity.”

The talks are expected to cover the following points:

  • Where the negotiations between CMAL and Ferguson Marine currently are
  • What the Scottish Government’ plans are for the long term future of the yard?

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) owns the vessels, ports, harbours and infrastructure for the ferry services serving the west coast of Scotland and the Firth of Clyde. It is also responsible for procuring new ships.

It is currently in dispute with Ferguson Marine over the cost of two new ships for the Hebridean routes, the Glen Sannox and hull number 802 which is still on the slipway.