CAMPAIGNERS in Inverclyde and senior Scottish politicians are calling on the First Minister to introduce a shipbuilding strategy to breathe new life into a Greenock drydock.

The Save Inchgreen group and the Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative (CDPI) have joined forces to send a plea to Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Government to come up with a plan to revitalise the facility and other Clydeside sites.

A joint letter from the organisations has been sent to the Ms Sturgeon, endorsed by 24 politicians from various parties and the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC).

Among the signatories are Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard, Greens chief Patrick Harvie and shadow Scotland minister Paul Sweeney, as well as Inverclyde's MP, Ronnie Cowan, and the area's MSP, Stuart McMillan.

Port Glasgow man Robert Buirds, who launched the Inchgreen campaign in December last year, said: "We hope that the Scottish Government, who are supporting Inverclyde's shipbuilding industry, will go the extra miles to create a strategy that will bring work, jobs and prosperity back to Inverclyde and our river."

The former shipyard employee and union shop steward has accused Inchgreen owners Peel Ports of neglecting the site since acquiring it nearly 16 years ago and claims it has been sacrificed in favour of the firm's Cammell Laird business in Merseyside.

Peel have denied the claims, saying the Greenock site is a 'key asset' with a rebuild value of £200 million and that it is in the running for Royal Navy work.

Mr Buirds said: "The letter's timing could not be more appropriate as my home town, Port Glasgow, is top of the Scottish unemployment league, a position that carries a heavy burden for all our local politicians and the Scottish Government.

"Hopefully there will be a better future for all when the future River Clyde industrial strategy is developed and implemented."