Press release to Greenock Telegraph
Liberal Democrat candidate Dr Jacci Stoyle has called on the First Minister to back the newly appointed Ferguson Marine board by investing in Inverclyde’s waterfront, such as Inchgreen Dry dock. Dr Stoyle says that further investment is required to ensure that the publicly-owned shipyard does not become another loss making project like Prestwick Air…port.
Billionaire property tycoon,John Whittaker, is reportedly looking to sell around 25% of the £4 billion ports operator, Peel Ports, alongside fellow investor Deutsche Bank, as he is facing financial difficulties. Mr Whittaker has had significant sums wiped off his balance sheet as his stake in Intu shopping centres has become worthless following the firm’s collapse into administration.
Dr Jacci Stoyle says:
“The Scottish Government made the decision to nationalise the struggling Ferguson Marine Shipyard year last. Now under public ownership, it is important that this yard doesn’t become another Prestwick Airport – which had recorded loss after loss since it was taken into public ownership in 2013.”
“With the recent appointment of a new board of directors at the yard, and financial difficulties for Peel Ports tycoon John Whittaker, now would be a good time for the Government to create a viable plan for the commercial development of Ferguson’s Marine Shipyard”.
“The acquisition of the nearby Inchgreen Dry dock would facilitate a greater diversity of operations for the shipyard and allow expansion into new markets such as ship repair and overhaul”.
“The Clyde waterfront is the jewel in Inverclyde’s crown. Inverclyde has long since struggled against Peel Ports’ reluctance to invest fully in their acquisitions, leaving the dry dock at Inchgreen lying idle and the other potential landmarks, buildings and harbours unutilised.”
“I have written to First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, suggesting that now is the time for investment in the facilities that Ferguson’s has – either from Government resources or in conjunction with a private partner”