A senior Scottish Government minister has agreed to take part in a summit on the future of the Ferguson Marine shipyard.

Wellbeing Economy Secretary Mairi McAllan will attend the second cross-party summit where crucial talks will be held on how to deliver new contracts for the troubled shipyard.

Announcing the plans at the STUC congress in Dundee, the GMB Scotland union said it will facilitate the discussions next month between all those invested in the shipyard’s future.

It comes after Ms McAllan attended the launch of the Glen Rosa last week, promising to stand with the shipyard “long into the future”.

The Glen Rosa and its sister vessel Glen Sannox – both built at the Port Glasgow shipyard – have been hit by significant delays and overspends.

The Glen Rosa had a target date of September next year for when it will first carry passengers on the Clyde and Hebrides network.

Meanwhile, the Glen Sannox undertook sea trials earlier in the year.

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Speaking at the conference in Dundee, Alex Logan, GMB convener at Ferguson Marine, announced Ms McAllan would attend the next summit, adding he hoped it would bring “urgent reassurance” on future contracts for the shipyard.

He called for the Scottish Government to award the contract for seven small CalMac ferries to the yard urgently to “protect jobs” which are crucial to Inverclyde.

Mr Logan said: “We have been clear to the Scottish Government that if they want to secure a future for the yard and jobs there, then it needs investment to modernise the yard and make it more competitive.

“We need a direct award of the small ferries which we have a track record in building and continued public ownership.

“Like many of the workers at Ferguson Marine before me, I have been a shipbuilder there all of my life. What we are fighting for now is the future of the generations to come.”