THE businessman who stepped in to save Ferguson shipyard has pledged to quadruple the workforce within three to five years.
Jim McColl told the Daily Record newspaper that he expects to have the keys to the yard at Port Glasgow, Inverclyde, within the coming days.
He is due to meet with unions and former management to discuss plans for its future.
The business, which dates back to 1902, went into administration last month with the loss of 70 jobs after experiencing ‘’significant cash-flow pressure’’.
It is the last commercial shipbuilder on the River Clyde.
Mr McColl, owner of Clyde Blowers Capital, said the yard will be back in business by the end of the year, with plans to boost the workforce to about 100 by February or March next year, followed by further expansion.
He added: “You wouldn’t believe the inquiries we’ve had for jobs since my name was first mentioned here.
“There is an abundance of work out there which we believe Ferguson - with the necessary upgrade of facilities - can undertake.
“Already, we’ve had inquiries about orders. We have money allocated to go ahead with the immediate improvements that will secure that future.”
Mr McColl, who supports a Yes vote in the independence referendum, was speaking to the newspaper on the day that it is guest-edited by Alex Salmond and the Yes campaign.