MINISTERS are injecting a further £6m into the beleaguered nationalised ferry fiasco firm - as it emerged their delivery will be delayed yet again.

The further cash injection comes as ministers have still failed to sanction a £60m budget for Ferguson Marine next year as it remains under due diligence.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney confirmed that he felt it was "appropriate and necessary" to allocate £6m for work on the vessels.

Mr Swinney said Ferguson Marine had actually requested a further £21m in this financial year alone to sustain work on the two lifeline island ferries that remain unfinished with Ferguson Marine.

Ministers had already approved a £15m cash injection in December to ensure the continued work on the vessels.

It has been confirmed that due to "persistent design gaps and build errors" progress had been slower than planned for the first of the vessels due to come online, Glen Sannox which will now not be delivered in time for the summer season.

It is scheduled for autumn 2023 rather than the end of May 2023 previously estimated, with what Mr Swinney described as a "contract backstop" of no later than the end of December 2023. 

The second vessel, only known as Hull 802 is now not expected online till the autumn of 2024 having already been delayed to the end of March 2024. The contract backstop was stated as being at the end of December 2024. 

Mr Swinney said: "It is a matter of great disappointment, that a further revision to the timescale for delivery has been necessary."

READ MORE: Ferguson Marine admitted 'significant doubt' over ScotGov firm future

He said he welcomed the Ferguson Marine chief executive David Tydeman's assurances that Ferguson Marine will continue their best endeavours to deliver both vessels sooner than these dates.

HeraldScotland: A BRIGHT future for Inverclyde's Ferguson Marine is hoped for as new chief executive John Tydeman steers the yard through the storm that is the construction of the hybrid ferry Glen Sannox. Hopefully the troubled ferry will at last depart Port

The vessels at the centre of the ferry fiasco were due online in the first half of 2018 with one initially to serve Arran and the other to serve the Skye triangle routes to North Uist and Harris, but they are well over five years late. It is suggested the costs of delivery has quadrupled compared to the original £97m cost.

Scottish Conservative transport spokesman Graham Simpson said: " Glen Sannox and Hull 802 can each be delayed by up to seven months. And we still don't know what the final cost will be. More delays, more costs and islanders left in the lurch. It's a disgrace."

Scottish Labour's transport spokesman Neil Bibby added: "Even more delays and even more millions, who will be surprised. This a scandal manufactured by SNP ministers."

The development came as the nationalised shipyard firm at the centre of Scotland's ferry fiasco admitted there was "significant doubt" over its ability to continue as a going concern due to doubts over future funding.

In its delayed financial statement of affairs just put before MSPs, directors were expected to clarify any uncertainty in the first half of this year.

The annual accounts for 2021/22 which has just been laid before the Scottish Parliament stated that the current budget allocation for 2021/22 did not cover their full costs anticipated for January and say that the languishing ferries were subject to additional cost and overrun.

The Herald previously revealed concerns for the future of the firm because ministers had continued to stall on signing off on the extra funding.

READ MORE: 'Beyond scandalous': Ferry fiasco firm costs taxpayer nearly £ far

Public finance watchdogs Audit Scotland said on Tuesday that there are "risks and uncertainties" over the financial future of Ferguson Marine going forward while the costs of delivery of long-delayed ferries has soared.

Ferguson Marine responded to the Audit Scotland concerns saying they believed there was a  "strong future" for the business despite doubts expressed.

Mr Tydeman said: “Glen Sannox is coming to life following a successful spell in drydock. As a result we have had main engines and propellers running, generators load tested, radar working, switchboards operational– all big, set piece achievements. We can see things coming together well, which is inspiring the shipyard team to further efforts. They are doing an outstanding job and I am proud of their commitment.

“We are obviously disappointed to extend the delivery timescales for both vessels but after sensible conversations with the broader stakeholders, there are compelling reasons for doing so. We will be able to hand over ships that have completed extensive sea trials and are fully equipped to run as dual fuel vessels, as originally planned.”

Ferguson Marine said that the delays would allow for more extensive trials of Glen Sannox over summer 2023, a move which the firm believed is "prudent given the timescales since launch".

The firm said it would allow Ferguson Marine to deliver the ship with dual fuel capability, which was the preferred option.


Mr Tydeman said: “Every week that passes takes us closer to completion on both vessels. The issues that we are uncovering – while generating delays - tend to be smaller scale and less of a challenge to overcome. The reset timescale has taken these factors into account, and we believe our delivery programme is realistic and robust. It will enable the ship to enter service with everyone having more confidence in her operational reliability in future years, and with dual fuel capability as contractually specified.”

The Herald revealed that the Scottish Government's public spending bill for nationalised Ferguson Marine which is delivering the ferries has soared to more than £450m.