CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save Inchgreen Dry Dock say they've been snubbed by the Scottish Government for a second time.

The committee — which has thousands of supporters and the backing of Inverclyde Council — want owner Peel Ports to be taken to task over the running of the iconic facility.

But campaign secretary Robert Buirds says infrastructure minister Michael Matheson is 'refusing' to visit the dry dock and tackle the company head-on.

Mr Buirds, a former shipyard worker, told the Telegraph: "I feel really frustrated and so does the whole committee.

"Basically Michael Matheson has done nothing to support the campaign.

"Peel Ports are being let off the hook as to why they've allowed a dry dock of national importance to deteriorate to the point where it will cost millions of pounds to put right."

The campaign committee has twice invited Mr Matheson to Inverclyde and he has declined on both occasions.

The minister postponed arranging a meeting with Peel Ports last month, citing 'parliamentary business' and has said he can't come to the district owing to a 'full diary'.

Mr Buirds said: "Mr Matheson promised to meet Peel Ports to discuss the deterioration of this magnificent facility and inform the campaign of these discussions.

"He has twice rejected an invitation from the campaign to visit Inchgreen and see for himself the destruction of this facility by this company."

The Telegraph told earlier this month how a call has been made to transform Inchgreen into a shipyard to build new ferries, particularly for Caledonian MacBrayne's ageing fleet.

The council passed a motion last November to save Inchgreen and officials have also written to the government urging ministers to meet Peel Ports to discuss their management of the dry dock.

In the latest government response to Mr Buirds, an official wrote: "Unfortunately, Mr Matheson has a very full diary and is unable to make any amendments at the moment.

"As you know, his meeting with Peel Ports had to be postponed due to parliamentary business."

The letter continues: "Turning to the dry-dock itself, the Glasgow City Region Deal includes the Inchgreen partnership project between Inverclyde Council and Peel Ports.

"It seeks to promote, make market-ready and secure key sector investment in the site at Inchgreen.

"It involves the redevelopment of a brownfield site, development of underutilised quay assets and the Inchgreen dry dock to offer a dedicated on shore marine hub.

"The anticipated cost is £9.4m and completion date of late 2022."

Mr Buirds said: "Almost two years on from the initial contact with the Scottish Government, and six months on from the council motion, no meeting has evolved either with ministers or with any elected member of Inverclyde Council regarding Inchgreen Dry Dock with Peel Ports."

The Tele invited the Scottish Government to respond to the campaign's comments but had received no comment as we went to press.