Glasgow & West Scotland

Easdale brothers interested in Ferguson Shipbuilders deal

Ferguson Shipbuilders
Image caption Administrators have made 70 staff redundant at Ferguson Shipbuilders in Port Glasgow

The owners of one of Scotland's largest bus firms have expressed an interest in saving the last commercial shipbuilder on the River Clyde.

Greenock-based businessmen Sandy and James Easdale, who own McGill's Buses, have contacted the administrators of Ferguson Shipbuilders in Port Glasgow.

About 70 workers were made redundant on Friday after the firm went bust due to a lack of orders and cash flow issues.

Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney visited the yard on Monday.

In a statement issued through their media spokesman, Sandy Easdale said: "We have contacted the administrators, KPMG, through our accountants.

'Vital business'

"This is a highly-skilled workforce and it is a vital business for our area.

"With government assistance, both in Edinburgh and London, I am sure we can secure orders."

Mr Swinney attended a task force meeting at Ferguson Shipyard on Monday with the aim of looking at options to save the yard.

Afterwards, the Finance Secretary and Inverclyde Council leader Stephen McCabe said: "We will do everything in our power to secure a future for Fergusons and its employees.

"Our priority is to attract a new investor who will take the shipyard forward as a going concern. There are still orders to be completed and we will work with the administrator to try to secure this outcome.

"This is a highly skilled workforce and it is essential that these skills are put to productive use in the future."

Ferguson Shipbuilders, which dates back to 1902, went into administration following "significant cash flow pressure" in recent months.

Blair Nimmo, joint administrator and head of restructuring for KPMG in Scotland, said then that the shipbuilder was a "leading name in the industry with a rich heritage dating back more than 110 years".

He added: "A lack of significant orders and mounting cash flow pressure has led to the group's inability to continue trading."

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