SPENDING on a key project to redevelop Gourock ferry terminal has been delayed by Scottish Government ministers.

MSPs have been advised that plans to upgrade the harbour at Gourock have been ‘reprofiled’, along with proposals to replace CalMac’s ageing fleet of small ferries.

In a letter sent to MSPs on Holyrood’s finance committee last week, finance secretary Shona Robison detailed a number of alterations which are to be made to the spending plans.

A £34m package of port works, which includes a review of plans to redevelop Gourock’s terminal, is one of the projects that will now have its spending fall within the next financial year.

Greenock Telegraph:

The spending changes will also affect the small vessels replacement programme (SVRP) which would involve building a new fleet of all-electric small vessels for CalMac.

Bosses at Ferguson Marine in Port Glasgow have previously stated their desire to build the new ferries after they have finished the long-overdue Glen Rosa and Glen Sannox.

Ferguson chief executive David Tydeman is hopeful that the yard can win the contract to construct the new vessels and secure a pipeline of work for the shipyard following the completion of its current projects.

Ms Robison said the small vessels plans had been "reprofiled, allowing time to fully consider the business case work, vessels design criteria, and help ensure alignment of the related shore power and port improvement works".

Greenock Telegraph: Deputy FM Shona Robison makes a statement to the Scottish Parliament on October 31

Asked on BBC Scotland's the Sunday Show if that meant a delay, she said: "CMAL have said the plans remain on track - the issue here is the profiling of the resources

"So instead of the resources being spent in 23/24 they will now be spent in 24/25 - so there's no change to the programme. The programme remains on track."

A CMAL spokesperson said: "The SVRP programme is on track and the concept design phase is now complete. Payments will only become due when a shipbuilding contract is signed, which will be during financial year 2024/25."