THE campaign to rescue Inchgreen Dry Dock is set to be further bolstered by Inverclyde Council.

Members of the policy and resources executive sub-committee have agreed to write to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to formally endorse the movement to breathe new life into the facility.

Councillors are also now primed to ramp up plans to unlock the potential of the dry dock by commissioning a report into the potential 'economic opportunities' of a rejuvenated Inchgreen.

The moves come after the activists, led by local man Robert Buirds, pictured, recently wrote to Ms Sturgeon looking for her help to 'rebuild pride in our community'.

SNP council group leader Chris McEleny said: "There's a wider economic debate to be had on Inchgreen and how it is going to be used as a strategic asset as part of the nationalisation of Ferguson's shipyard.

"I think we should seek to arrange a meeting with the economy secretary [Fiona Hyslop] at some point in the future to discuss this.

"At the moment we seem to just be sending sentimental letters saying that we support things instead of actually trying to sit people down and get a plan.

"It would be wise to get a wider piece of work on what the economic opportunities are for Inverclyde, particularly in relation to Inchgreen, and then try and set that up through the economy secretary to see how we can take it forward."

Council leader Stephen McCabe described this idea as 'a reasonable suggestion'.

He added: "I don't have an issue with us writing to the First Minister and endorsing the letter from the campaign."

The committee agreed that Scott Allan, corporate director for environment, regeneration and resources, prepare a report regarding Inchgreen.

However, Conservative councillor Graeme Brooks has sounded a note of caution.

Mr Brooks said: "Peel Ports, who own Inchgreen Dry Dock, have an order book, and what I wouldn't want to do is for us to have any detrimental effect [on] the clients of Peel Ports at Inchgreen, or any potential clients."

Mr Allan said: "Peel Ports are preparing for another contract to go into the dry dock, now that the floating pontoon is out, and that I think has been delayed because of Covid."

He refrained from giving any further detail with the committee in public session.