THE man tasked with rescuing Ferguson's has told the Telegraph that he is 'hopeful' the ferries fiasco won't leave a lasting stain on the yard as he looks to build a strong future by winning a raft of key future contracts.

In an exclusive interview, chief executive David Tydeman, who took over at Ferguson Marine early last year, today outlined his aim to secure sustainable work orders at the Port Glasgow shipyard, protect skilled jobs and put the mistakes of the bungled CalMac deal firmly behind him.

While the Glen Sannox vessel and the soon-to-be-named Hull 802 are more than five years late and around £200 million over budget, the former is scheduled to come into service next spring after dry docking this Christmas and the latter could be launched in November as the tide finally starts to turn towards completion.

READ MOREInside Ferguson Marine Port Glasgow's new CalMac ferries

And the nationalised firm's boss said further avenues are being explored to diversify the yard and steer it into a successful next decade and beyond.

Mr Tydeman said: "I really hope that we can put this behind us and just see it as a complex chapter with a lot of mistakes made all around.

Greenock Telegraph: Glen Sannox, which will serve the Ardrossan-Brodick route, is due to come into service in spring 2024Glen Sannox, which will serve the Ardrossan-Brodick route, is due to come into service in spring 2024 (Image: George Munro)

"To pretend that we've done this well is the wrong thing to say.

"Strategically I'm anchoring the plan around repeatable work.

"We don't want to go through another complex, one-off, first of class [project] at the moment while we're still recovering from these two ferries.

"Choosing the right type of work is what's important for us."

The CEO claimed 'the future is there to grab' for Ferguson's, with bids in the pipeline for small ferry contracts and windfarm support vessels.

The yard has already linked up with BAE Systems to fabricate parts of the Royal Navy's new Type 26 frigate, HMS Belfast, in what Mr Tydeman heralded as a 'new era for commercial shipbuilding'.

READ MOREFerguson Marine in Port Glasgow start work on Royal Navy's HMS Belfast

He said: "There's more work out there for the next 10 to 15 years than I've ever seen in my career in the shipping industry for the UK.

"If we get ourselves in the right position there's no reason why we can't have a good future.

"There are about 10 projects that we're tracking at the moment from fabrication to larger projects.

"The BAE contract and small ferries exactly fit the bill of simpler and more repeatable work and will give us a number of years that we can get back into a rhythm.

"When we've got the rhythm back and we've got the yard flowing properly I'd be keen to look at windfarm support vessels, bigger sophisticated ships."

Scottish Government ministers recently revealed their intention to release the shipyard from public ownership, and while Mr Tydeman stated the next 18 months 'will be a challenge' for Ferguson Marine he is confident that jobs and work will remain.

Greenock Telegraph: Work is continuing on both CalMac vessels at the yardWork is continuing on both CalMac vessels at the yard (Image: George Munro)

He said: "There is the right type of work out there with the small ferries, which we know we can do well and CMAL also think we can do it well, so if you've got a client that thinks you can do it well that helps.

"We've started the relationship with BAE, so if those two develop comfortably over the next six to nine months and we have that four or five years of visible work then I'm sure we can do that efficiently and profitably.

"A sustainable yard has to be profitable. You have to have the right bit of work and you've got to do it well.

"The ownership structure to me is secondary because if you've got the right type of work and you're doing it well then there will be a number of ways in which you could own and run the yard.

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"But we are going to go through a low point because even if we got the contract for the small ferries later this year we won't cut steel until much later in 2024 or early 2025.

"I don't want to repeat what we've done in the past, I want to have plenty of time to do the design and planning.

"We only have 60 people working on Glen Sannox now. I haven't got enough work to keep everybody busy on Hull 802, it's building up with BAE but getting through the next 18 months is going to be a challenge.

"We'll look at all options to try and keep people busy.

"The fact that we've got BAE work here shows that people are willing to look at this as an unfortunate chapter and remember the strength of the yard in the past and what it could be in the future."