Response to Ferguson Marine update

Kate Forbes

Ministers make clear their expectation for future of business.

Ferguson Marine must build a competitive business and deliver two lifeline vessels, Economy Secretary Kate Forbes has told the Scottish Parliament.

Responding to an Audit Scotland report on the management of vessels 801 and 802 and the latest quarterly update from Ferguson Marine, Ms Forbes expressed frustration at the revised delivery and cost schedule for both vessels. Ferguson Marine have made clear these delays and additional costs are due to outstanding legacy cabling issues.

The Scottish Government has accepted recommendations from the Audit Scotland report on Ferguson Marine in public ownership.

Ms Forbes said:

“We knew the challenge we took on when the Scottish Government rescued Fergusons from administration in 2019 but it was a challenge worth taking on.

“We saved hundreds of jobs and we stand by our commitment to the shipbuilding communities in Inverclyde, and our island communities that rely on the vessels.

“I have been crystal clear on what I expect from Ferguson Marine in terms of delivering 801 and 802, as well as turning the business around to be competitive. I recognise the critical nature of completing the ferries for the sake of island communities and I understand the urgency and necessity of delivering these vessels.

“I fully accept the Audit Scotland report’s recommendations on Ferguson Marine in public ownership and work is well underway on a number of the recommendations.

“There is still work to do to complete both the vessels and turnaround the business. The Board and leadership of Ferguson Marine know where I stand on this, and they expect to be held to account for delivery of these critical ferries in line with the new schedule.

“Until those vessels are serving the communities for which they were built, we will not let up in our drive and determination to get them finished.”

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