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