Hugely-delayed CalMac ferries must be completed ‘no ifs, no buts’ – Kate Forbes

Two massively-delayed new CalMac ferries must be completed with "no ifs, no buts", Finance Secretary Kate Forbes warned the Ferguson Marine shipyard today.

She told MSPs it was also essential the Port Glasgow firm became able to win orders for other vessels.

Ms Forbes was responding to a call from Greenock and Inverclyde SNP MSP Stuart McMillan for the yard’s management to be replaced after it failed to make the shortlist to build two new ferries for Islay announced yesterday.

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The SNP minister told him: “I have been crystal clear with the yard’s management that I expect – no ifs, no buts – the two vessels to be completed and the yard to get into a position to compete successfully for tenders.”

Kate Forbes said she was "monitoring progress closely". Picture: Scottish Parliament TV

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Ferguson Marine was taken over by the Scottish Government in 2019 to avert its closure after falling into administration.

MV Glen Sannox, which is being built for the main Arran route between Ardrossan and Brodick, is running more than three years late and is not now due to be finished between July and September next year.

This compares to the previous estimate a year ago of between April and June next year – a further delay of three months.

Progress on Glen Sannox over the last year. Picture: Cmal

Its unnamed sister ferry, codenamed hull 802, which is earmarked for the Skye-Harris-North Uist route, is currently scheduled for completion between April and July 2023.

That is up to five months behind the previous timescale of between December 2022 and February 2023.

Ms Forbes said: “I’m monitoring progress at the yard closely through the board, who ultimately oversee operational matters and hold management acccountable for performance.”

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