Hopes for restora­tion of his­toric dock fade as ship­builders lose out on con­tract

Sunday Mail (UK) - - The Judge -

Re­gen­er­a­tion hopes for a his­toric River Clyde dry dock have been dashed after its owner lost out on a ma­jor con­tract.

Ship­builder Cam­mell Laird had claimed to be bid­ding for work to main­tain the Royal Navy’s air­craft car­ri­ers at Inch­green in Greenock.

The com­pany have faced crit­i­cism for fail­ing to use the site, with al­le­ga­tions the fa­cil­ity is be­ing side­lined to pro­tect jobs at their other yards on Mersey­side.

Politi­cians and cam­paign­ers have de­manded act ion to de­velop Inch­green after it emerged £5mil­lion of air­craft car­rier work had been awarded to Bab­cock at Rosyth on the Firth of Forth.

Labour MP Paul Sweeney said: “I don’t doubt there was a bid from Cam­mell Laird for the car­rier work but it was al­ways ex­pected to go to Rosyth.

“If the com­pany are se­ri­ous about de­vel­op­ing Inch­green, that con­tract shouldn’t be the only game in town.

“They should be bring­ing in­vestors with a view to pump­ing mil­lions into this em­i­nently de­vel­opable area so we can see large scale ship­build­ing re­turn­ing to the Clyde. We need to be think­ing much big­ger.”

Lo­cal cam­paigner Robert Buirds added: “This is a ma­jor set­back for Inch­green and I be­lieve it is now time for a com­plete change of own­er­ship.

“This com­pany’s man­age­ment of the fa­cil­ity has been a dis­as­ter and it is clearly an af­ter­thought for the com­pany while all of the at­ten­tion is on their op­er­a­tions on Mersey­side . It has n ow de­te­ri­o­rated to the ex­tent that it will take ma­jor in­vest­ment to re­turn Inch­green to an op­er­a­tional level.” Cam­mell Laird are a ssub­sidiary of Peel Ports – oowned by bil­lion­aire John WWhit­taker. His firm have been ac­cused oof block ing in­dust r ia l dde­vel­op­ment in Scot­land be­be­cause it could cre­ate co­com­pe­ti­tion for his Mersey­side shship­build­ing op­er­a­tion. John Syvret, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Cam­mell Laird, in­sisted a se­ri­ous bid had been made for the air­craft car­rier work. He said: “While we are ob­vi­ously dis­ap­pointed with the re­sult of the first ten­der­ing process, it’s im­por­tant to recog­nise that this con­tract was only for the ini­tial in­spec­tion work on the car­rier hull, which will take around five weeks. The much more

CON­CERN MP Paul Sweeney and, top, Inch­green. Above, our story on dry dock fears

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.