A CALL for Inchgreen Dry Dock to be rescued by the Scottish Government and utilised by Ferguson's shipyard is set to receive unanimous cross-party support at Inverclyde Council.

Campaigners fighting to reinvigorate the 'amazing asset' — which was built with public funding — have set out a vision for its future as an extension of the nationalised shipyard as well as a repair and maintenance facility for Scotland's ageing ferry fleet.

A letter formally requesting that the government becomes involved in the Inchgreen matter is to be sent to finance secretary Derek Mackay, who stepped in to save Ferguson's in the midst of the unfinished CalMac ferries fiasco.

In the correspondence, seen by the Telegraph, campaign secretary Robert Buirds writes: 'This amazing asset...is being left to deteriorate until it becomes beyond economical repair.

'Building waterfront apartments will not sustain our communities.

"Sustainable jobs, providing training, and creating a future skilled industrial workforce is our ambition for Inchgreen Dry Dock."

Mr Buirds will tell Mr Mackay: 'With your assistance we believe there would be an excellent opportunity for Inverclyde and Ferguson Marine to prosper were Inchgreen to be used initially to maintain and service the Scottish ferry fleet, and longer term for the assembly of larger ships, which cannot be built at Ferguson's Port Glasgow shipyard.

'With the expanding skilled workforce at Ferguson's, Inchgreen Dry Dock would provide opportunities for them to create additional commercial opportunities and generate a healthy order book to provide stability for its workforce and a return on Scotland's investment.

'Using Inchgreen for maintaining our ferry fleet would save time, be cost effective, and reduce the pollution created by the long transit to Merseyside.'

The council appears ready to throw its full weight behind the campaign when it meets on February 3.

Leader Stephen McCabe said: "I welcome the initiative shown by the campaign group in contacting the cabinet secretary and would encourage him to meet with them.

"Inchgreen Dry Dock is an important local and national asset, which is currently significantly underutilised.

"We would like to see it used to its full potential and the Scottish Government could have a key role in achieving that goal."

Mr Buirds, a former shipyard worker who set up the campaign three years ago, told the Tele: "I'm pleased to report that we have now met all the council political groupings and received a warm welcome and encouraging support for our letter.

"I've now passed on our proposed motions to council leader Stephen McCabe who kindly offered to assist with making ready for the council meeting."

The campaign expressed fears last month that Inchgreen, which is owned by Peel Ports, was destined to becoming a scrap yard for decommissioned oil rigs.

Former Ferguson's owner Jim McColl expressed interest in Inchgreen after buying the Port Glasgow yard, however, his advances were rebuffed by Peel because it owns rival shipbuilder Cammell Laird in Birkenhead.