THE clamour for clarity over the future of Ferguson Marine is intensifying.

There was understandably great fanfare at the shipyard last week when hundreds of members of the public were joined by politicians for the launch of MV Glen Rosa.

She cut a splendid sight as she was launched into the Clyde, marking a key milestone in the dual fuel ferries saga.

But at the same time, there is no mistaking the big void she has left behind on the slipway.

Yes, there is still a way to go before she is completed and the fitting-out of her sister ship MV Glen Sannox is also continuing downriver.

But these jobs are, finally, drawing towards an end and the new orders book is bare.

A fresh pipeline of work is needed urgently, or the saving of the shipyard back in 2019 could ultimately be squandered.

The yard and its 300 staff need a firm sign from the Scottish Government that they are fully committed to it - warm words on a launch day platform are not enough.

The government owns the business and CalMac needs a fleet of new small vessels which it could build.

Union officials, opposition politicians and now the council have all made it crystal clear that the shipyard needs to survive and thrive.

The job losses which Inverclyde has suffered in recent times have been bad enough; the loss of Ferguson Marine would be catastrophic.

Now is the time for the government to step up to the plate and secure its future.