A COMPANY has come forward to declare interest in reviving Greenock's historic Inchgreen Dry Dock and create jobs at the site.

Activists behind a campaign to breathe new life into the facility have been approached by a 'third party' keen on running it as a commercial enterprise.

The Telegraph understands the interested party is a medium-sized firm based in Scotland with international links.

Robert Buirds, founder and secretary of the Save Inchgreen group, says talks are in the very early stages but he is encouraged by the interest in the dry dock.

Campaigners have been calling on Inchgreen owners Peel Ports to come good on their promises to redevelop the site or step aside and let someone else do it.

They are also urging the Scottish Government to put pressure on the company and explore a public takeover.

Mr Buirds said: "We've been contacted by a third party who wish to return Inchgreen to a commercial enterprise providing ship maintenance and repair, harbour and fabrication facility and heritage centre. "It would be very, very good but we're in the early stages of discussions.

"We also have some ideas we want to explore.

"When we talk to companies about Inchgreen they say it's a smashing asset but the owners are crippling it."

Peel maintain the dry dock - the largest of its kind in the UK - is a key asset and that they have a 'specific plan' for the site, although the Tele revealed last month how the multi-billion organisation had sparked anger by challenging the Save Inchgreen volunteers to come up with a 'credible plan' for the facility.

The campaign group accused the organisation's top brass of 'complete arrogance', but are now set to call their bluff by setting up their own firm and offering to run the site themselves.

Mr Buirds said: "Our committee is currently discussing options on various company formats and the right to buy legislation.

"We're prepared to set up a trust company to purchase and operate Inchgreen and have started discussions with companies prepared to provide suitable ongoing work for the dock while we search for a shipbuilding company to move in and provide sustainable employment."

The group is currently appealing for the help of an architect to draw up plans for the site.

For more information email campaigntosaveinchgreendrydock@gmail.com.