YARD TO TAKE
Firm accused of sabotaging Clyde jobs win contract to refurbish CalMac ferries
A firm accused of sabotaging a River Clyde shipyard have been handed a Scottish Government contract to refurbish CalMac ferries.
Cammell Laird won the work – which will be carried out at their base on Merseyside – despite their Inchgreen dry dock in Greenock lying derelict.
The Sunday Mail has previously revealed claims that billionaire owner John Whittaker is sacrificing jobs in Scotland by refusing to rejuvenate or sell the Inverclyde facility in order to protect his interests in Liverpool.
Neighbouring yards, including Ferguson Marine and Dales Marine, have expressed an interest in taking over Inchgreen, which was built with public money in the 60s and was used to fit out the QE2.
Labour MP Paul Sweeney said: “The Scottish Government have serious questions to answer as to why they aren’t using public contract s f rom a Scottish Governmentowned company like CalMac to support Clyde ship repair firms and instead giving them to Cammell Laird, a company who have sterilised the use of the dry dock at Inchgreen.
“It is unacceptable that Inchgreen – a potentially world- class facility – continues to lie dormant.
“The company’s claim to have regeneration plans for the future just don’t ring true.
“They say they are bidding for maintenance work on the Navy’s aircraft carriers but that could be over a decade away, if it ever happens.
“We need to see action to bring this site back into use now and, if Cammell Laird aren’t going to do that, then someone else should be given the opportunity.
“The Scottish Government should be doing everything possible to see Inchgreen regenerated but, instead, they are happy to send work down south that could be carried out on the Clyde.”
Maintenance contracts for four CalMac ferries have been given to Cammell Laird.
The firm are part of Peel Group, who are controlled by Whittaker, 76, a tax exile from the Isle of Man.
Peel acquired vast swathes of the Clyde in 2004, including shipyards and dry docks, after buying the once publicly owned Clydeport.
They also bought Mersey Docks and Harbour Company in 2005, before snapping up a majority y investment in Cammell Laird in 2007. Shipbuilding work is now focused on Merseyside, while the Clyde has been predominantly used for housing and retail development.
CalMac said: “Our programme for annual f leet ref it follows strict competitive tendering rules set out under Public Contracts (Scotland) 2015 Regulations.
“During the latest round of tendering, Dales Marine successfully bid for work on 19 vessels and Cammell Laird were successful in bidding for four vessels. “Contract awards for the remaining g nine vessels in our f leet were
made earlier in the year, with Dales Marine winning work on seven vessels and Ardmaleish Boatbuilding Company awarded two.”
Transport Scotland said: “We are committed to the Scottish shipbuilding and repair sector, with six of the last seven CalMac ferries being built in Scotland. The majority of our ferries are also overhauled in Scotland each year.
“The procurement of annual dry dock facilities is a matter for CalMac, as the operator of the Clyde and Hebrides ferry services, but we welcome the contracts they have already awardedawarde to Scottish yards this year and, throughthr their enterprise agencies, the ScottishScot Government will continue to supportsupp development of the Scottish shipsh maintenance and repair supplysu chain.”
Earlier this year, it emerged thattha none of the £1billion worth of tthe UK Government’s Defence EquipmentEq and Support work wouldwo benefit Scotland.
NoteNot – Awaiting comment from CammellCam Laird
ACTION CALL Labour MP Sweeney ALL QUIET Inchgreen dry dock in Greenock it is unacceptable that inchgreen – a potentially world-class facility – continues to lie dormant