THE Queen Mary steamship will finally return home to the Clyde following a successful campaign backed by Robbie Coltrane.

The Friends of TS Queen Mary hope to see the vessel given a permanent berth on the north bank of the Glasgow river, after a two-year dispute of its ownership.

The historic steamer was wrestled from previous owner Ranjan Chowdhury by Forth Ports in February following the non-payment of berthing fees.

It had previously been left languishing in Tilbury Docks since being acquired by businessman Mr Chowdhury in 2011.

In April this year, Coltrane became a patron for the charity which agreed a £20,000 fee for the vessel at auction earlier this year.

The 65-year-old actor said: “It’s wonderful news. I can’t think what to say, except I am delighted to be involved and hugely excited by the idea that the old girl will be on the Clyde. Such a bonnie wee ship. We should be proud.”

After carrying out necessary repairs, the charity will embark on a multi-million-pound restoration programme.

It will ultimately need to raise around £4 million in the hopes of turning the ship into a floating tourist and educational attraction at Glasgow’s Riverside Museum.

Friends of TS Queen Mary trustee Iain Sim said: “I am still shell-shocked that our battle to bring the ship home has finally been successful. The plan is now to get her seaworthy. We have to try to raise £70,000 before next April to repair her and bring her home.”

Mr Sim added: “The response so far has been great. We’ve already had a lot of interest from members of the public and businesses.

“We hope to get funding from things like lottery and government grants but we’re also opening up our website to accept donations from the public.”

Efforts to safeguard the shop has already attracted generous benefactors, including a personal pledge of £10,000 from multi-millionaire Jim McColl, who saved the last commercial shipyard on the Clyde when he bought Ferguson Marine out of administration last year.

The plans were also backed by several MSPs including, Jackie Baillie and Sandra White, with cruise liner giants Cunard also pledging to support the charity.

A Forth Ports spokesman said: “We are delighted the new owners of the Queen Mary plan to return her to the River Clyde, where she was built.”