Displaying items by tag: Scottish Government
In a decision by the Scottish government it is "ready and willing" to take Ferguson shipyard into public ownership, Economy Secretary Derek Mackay has announced.
As BBC News reports, the minister said this was to avert the yard's closure with the loss of 350 jobs, and to complete two ferries being built there for Cal Mac west coast services.
The move follows legal notice being served that the business faces administration by the end of this week.
Mr Mackay said the government remained open to other investors.
But in a statement, he added that it was essential to act without delay, to secure the yard, its workforce and the unfinished ships.
A letter has been sent to Ferguson Marine, and its sole shareholder, industrialist Jim McColl, saying the Scottish government is hopeful that directors and creditors "recognise the importance of completing that transfer as quickly and smoothly as possible".
More here on the shipyard story.
Jim McColl has failed to convince the Scottish Government to take a stake in the last commercial shipyard on the Clyde.
The near-billionaire, The Herald writes, was understood to be ready to take a multi-million-pound “hit” on his investment at Ferguson Marine in Port Glasgow.
And this week he convinced Labour and SNP local to back his scheme in the hope of securing 350 jobs after their current contracts to make ferries ran in to cost over-runs and contractual disputes.
Ministers consider nationalising shipyard owned by billionaire adviser to Nicola Sturgeon (click here for more).
The Herald understands Mr McColl and his Clyde Blowers Capital or CBC felt they had legal advice that assuaged concerns by civil servants over an equity partnership.
However, a Scottish Government spokesman said: “We share the determination to ensure a strong, long term future for Fergusons.
P&O Ferries said it was “always looking for new opportunities” after SNP backbench MSP Angus MacDonald urged Transport Minister Humza Yousaf to call a summit with ferry operators to explore the potential for a new service between Scotland and Norway, Denmark or Sweden.
Rosyth’s freight-only ferry to Zeebrugge is currently the country’s only sea link to Europe. But a new passenger ferry to Scandinavia is seen as an opportunity to boost exports as well as tourism.
Mr MacDonald said a new ferry link could be “incredibly beneficial” to Scotland and he hoped a meeting with ferry operators could be arranged “ahead of the potential damage to our tourism sector from the impact of Brexit”.
A spokesman for P&O said: “We are always looking for new opportunities and would be happy to sit down with the relevant parties to discuss a route between Scotland and Scandinavia.”
There were more than 15 million visits to the UK from Scandinavia between 2011 and 2016, contributing nearly £8.5 billion to the UK economy. Spending by Danish visitors alone rose by 30 per cent over the five years.
In 2016, Sweden, Denmark and Norway ranked 14th, 15th and 16th for the number of visitors coming to the UK. Mr MacDonald said: “Surely it makes sense to give people another option of how to travel across the North Sea, to ensure our economy continue to benefit from tourists?”
The ferry route between Rosyth and the Belgian port of Zeebrugge opened in 2002, but the passenger service ended in 2010 and it has since been freight-only.
Mr MacDonald said the last ferry link from the UK to Scandinavia ended in 2014 which Afloat previously reported on was DFDS Seaways Harwich-Esbjerg service.