First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP was at Ferguson Marine in Port Glasgow today to announce that Ferguson Marine have won the £97m contract to build the next two CMAL ferries under the Scottish Government’s Ferries Strategy launched in 2008.
Only last week, ambitious plans to grow and diversify the historic shipyard were revealed and this announcement today helps that growth and security of work take shape.
Today’s announcement shows the progress that has been made in a short time for the yard. During the summer of 2014, the yard went into liquidation and a Scottish Government led Taskforce was convened to help save it. Ferguson’s Port Glasgow was saved in September 2014 after when Clyde Blowers capital, led by Jim McColl bought over he facility. Since then the billionaire businessman has invested heavily and continues to do so and only last week unveiled plans for a huge workforce expansion.
Stuart McMillan MSP was a member of the Taskforce to help secure a buyer for Ferguson’s.
“It’s great to see the First Minister back in Inverclyde again and highlights the importance of Ferguson’s Marine to the local area, and the importance of shipbuilding industry in Scotland.
“The SNP Scottish Government responded quickly to the closure of Ferguson’s, with Ministers forming a task group which met within days. We worked hard to achieve the purchase of the yard as a going concern and were delighted when Jim McColl’s bid delivered this.
“Today’s announcement is brilliant news for Inverclyde and shows that shipbuilding, thanks to the SNP, has a bright and prosperous future ahead of it.
“I recently met with Liam Campbell, the managing director of Ferguson Marine, who outlined exciting plans for the yard. Since the SNP taskforce was set up to save Ferguson’s, Jim McColl re-employed those who wanted to return and has taken the staffing level to over 150.
“Today’s announcement is yet another sign of the SNP Scottish Government supporting industry and Inverclyde. This takes the number of ships awarded to Ferguson’s by the SNP Scottish Government to 5 and shows that the re-industrialisation of the lower Clyde is a commitment being delivered.
“I am greatly encouraged by the number of people from Inverclyde interested in working at Ferguson Marine. In the current intake of fifteen apprentices in Ferguson’s, all are from Inverclyde and over the next five years Ferguson Marine will need to look at quite an ambitious apprenticeship programme that will build up a excellent skill-base again in Inverclyde.
“This strategic vision will turn Ferguson’s Marine into a 21st-century business within a year with ambitious plans for 1,300 jobs and £65 million of investment. This is a remarkable success story for Inverclyde.”