Ferry shipyard made £100m loss in months after takeover

It had been contracted to deliver two vessels for CalMac for £97m, with an initial completion date set for 2018.

Ferry shipyard made £100m loss in months after takeover PA Ready
Ferguson Marine: It had been contracted to deliver two vessels for CalMac for £97m.

A nationalised shipyard tasked with delivering two ferries made a £100m loss in the months after it came under the ownership of the Scottish Government, figures show.

Ferguson Marine (Port Glasgow) Holdings Ltd was nationalised in August 2019 following its collapse into administration after its ferry-building endeavours were dogged by delays and overspends.

It had been contracted to deliver two vessels for CalMac for £97m, with an initial completion date set for 2018.

But the vessels, referred to as 801 and 802, are not now expected to be completed until 2022 and 2023 respectively, with the cost having almost doubled.

Companies House accounts published on Wednesday show Ferguson Marine made a £100m comprehensive loss between August 12, 2019 and March 31, 2020.

Ferguson Marine director Tim Hair said in a statement to the Herald, which first reported the story, that the loss did not reflect the performance of the shipyard.

He told the paper it was based on “the auditor’s view of the contractual arrangements in place at the time the shipyard was brought into public ownership”.

Mr Hair is collecting £790,000 a year to run the enterprise for the Scottish Government, the Herald reported.

In a damning report in December 2020, MSPs on Holyrood’s Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee said the procurement of the boats from the Ferguson Marine yard in Port Glasgow was “a catastrophic failure”.

The committee inquiry found that the procurement process was “not fit for purpose”.