FERGUSON Marine in Port Glasgow went bust with debts of more than £70 million - including over £50m owed to taxpayers.

New figures have emerged from the company's administrators, Deloitte, revealing the scale of the financial crisis that brought the Newark shipyard to its knees six weeks ago.

The company owes the Scottish Government £49.7m - £5m more than previously believed.

HM Revenue and Customs is also due a further £426,000 while the European Commission - the executive branch of the EU - has made a claim for £1m.

Scottish ministers provided £45m worth of commercial loans to Ferguson's after engineering tycoon Jim McColl - the boss of Clyde Blowers Capital and a government economic adviser - rescued the yard from administration first time round in 2014.

The latest financial report also revealed that the 300-plus workforce is owed £164k for overtime, holiday pay and pension contributions.

Mr McColl's firm is due £3m while creditors, including a number of Inverclyde companies, are currently £3.9m out of pocket as a result of the yard's cashflow crisis.

Ferguson's got into difficulty because of a £97m order for two new dual-fuel CalMac ferries placed by Scottish Government-owned Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd, which is also based in Port Glasgow.

The unfinished vessels, MV Glen Sannox and Hull 802, are currently valued at £48.3m - less than half the original value of the contract.

They should have entered service last year but are only partially-built and now expected to cost double the £97m set-price agreed with CMAL.

The unfinished ships account for half the £97.7m value of Ferguson Marine's total assets, according to the financial assessment.

Ferguson's has been in administration since August 16 but the Scottish Government struck a deal to take control of the business and retain the workforce until a buyer is found.

If there is no new commercial operator, finance secretary Derek Mackay has committed to nationalising the yard to save jobs and finally complete the delayed and over-budget CalMac vessels.

The government is said to be footing the wage bill while the sale process takes place.

There has been a lot of interest in the business with as many as 21 interested parties, as revealed by the Tele.

Deloitte has confirmed there are 'a number of offers' on the table which they are currently mulling over.

A preferred bidder is expected to be announced by the end of this week or early next week.