Ferguson receives support

Frigate numbers cut as rescued yard receives grant

Ferguson ShipbuildersThe number of Type 26 Global Combat Ships to be built on the Clyde will be reduced from 13 to eight.

Work on the new ships is due to begin at the Scotstoun and Govan shipyards next year.

However, David Cameron, the prime minister also announced “probably five” of a new class of “light, flexible general purpose frigates” in addition to the Type 26, which would bring the total number of frigates ordered to “at least 13”.

The revised order was announced as part of a defence review in which he also said there would be new fleet of nine Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft based at RAF Lossiemouth in Moray.

The announcement came as Ferguson Marine Engineering, the shipyard rescued by billionaire Jim McColl, is to receive £1 million from the taxpayer to support the creation of 100 jobs.

The Clyde yard now has an order book worth £110 million, including a £97 million order to build two duel-fuel CalMac ferries.

On a visit to Port Glasgow to announce the regional selective assistance grant, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “Commercial shipbuilding on the Clyde has a long history and it is important that we continue to support this vital industry.

“This £1 million grant will enable the company to further invest in the site on the Clyde, which will create jobs and help ensure our shipbuilding industry continues to have a sustainable future.

“Ferguson Marine Engineering Limited has also recently won a contract worth almost £100 million from Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited for the construction of two new ferries, the largest commercial vessels to be built on the Clyde since 2001.

“Since Clyde Blowers took over the company, they have done a fantastic job of turning the company around and I am delighted to visit their premises today to see just how much progress has been made.”

Ferguson managing director Liam Campbell said: “We greatly appreciate this contribution by Scottish Enterprise to support us in rebuilding our yard and in doing so creating new jobs and skills for the local area.”

Paul Lewis, managing director of Scottish Development International and Scottish Enterprise international operations, said: “Since last September we’ve been working with Ferguson Marine Engineering Limited to help drive forward its plans of developing a successful, growing business with international ambition.

“Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone for the company and we will continue to work with them as they realise their full growth potential.”

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