THE sight of seeing the Glen Rosa officially launched into the Clyde was a huge relief to not only Ferguson Marine but Inverclyde as a whole.

The shipyard is of huge importance to the area and the successful launch is a credit to all those working in the yard for the hard work and dedication they have shown throughout this extremely challenging project.

The problems of the past are well documented. It’s important now to focus on the future.

That is why it is vital that further work is guaranteed for Ferguson Marine. I support the GMB union’s call for more investment in facilities and to award the yard the upcoming contract for small CalMac vessels as it will secure the future of a major employer for years to come.

I welcome the news that Wellbeing Economy Secretary, Màiri McAllan has agreed to attend critical talks organised by the GMB next month (16th May) on the future of the yard.

Ms McAllan stated at the launch that the Scottish Government will stand with the workforce ‘long into the future’ but that is meaningless unless the support being called for now is provided.

These calls which have cross party support have been made for months.

The time for indecision is over. When the Economy Secretary visits Inverclyde next month the Scottish Government must set out their plans on investment and future work for the yard.

Inverclyde Council led by Councillor Stephen McCabe, have been working tirelessly over the last few years to bring jobs and investment to the region.

Unfortunately we seen recent proposals by EE to move 400 jobs from Greenock to Glasgow but EE have resisted engaging with the Inverclyde Taskforce attempts to keep them in the region. I have now urged the First Minister to intervene and use his influence to get EE back round the table.

The Scottish Government may not ultimately be able to make decisions for EE but every effort should be made to protect local jobs.

But the Scottish Government can absolutely decide the future of Ferguson Marine and it's decision time for them.