FURTHER delays to two new £100 million CalMac ferries being built at Ferguson's have been officially confirmed in the Scottish Parliament.

Minister Paul Wheelhouse believes the current revised delivery date of June this year for the first of the vessels - Glen Sannox - now 'cannot be met'.

As it stands, the ferry is already around 13 months late with the second ship, Hull 802, 19 months behind schedule.

Port Glasgow-based Ferguson's and Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) - the government offshoot in charge of ships and harbours in the west of Scotland - are currently in dispute over the problem-hit project.

The shipbuilder wants more money to complete the order, claiming that major changes have been made to the designs.

But the client argues only minor alterations have been made and paid for from a £3m contingency fund, which is on top of the entire £97m budget.

Speaking at Holyrood, Mr Wheelhouse said: "Although, from a contractual perspective, management of the contract is for Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd (FMEL) and CMAL, Scottish ministers are closely monitoring the situation regarding delivery of the new ferries. "We have concerns that FMEL's projected delivery timescale for the Glen Sannox in June this year cannot be met, so officials have written seeking clarification on delivery timescales for both vessels.

"The ongoing delay to the delivery of the vessels is of great concern to ministers and is, clearly, hugely frustrating to stakeholders. "That is particularly so for the communities who will benefit from their eventual deployment and for the operator, CalMac Ferries."

The announcement was made following a question in Holyrood from Greenock-born MSP Jamie Greene.

The Conservative politician says he is increasingly concerned about the ferry saga.

Mr Greene, who represents the west of Scotland, said: "It is extremely disappointing that the ferry will now be delayed past the revised June 2019 timetable.

"The Scottish Government must ensure that the Glen Sannox is completed in good time and operational so that we can move past these disruptions."

According to reports, none of the ferry's 1,000 seats have been fitted and the Tele recently revealed how ministers and CMAL have urged Ferguson's to hurry up and finish the work.

The Tele contacted the company for a response.