Ferguson enters administration

Historic British shipbuilder Ferguson has entered administration with the immediate loss of all but seven jobs at the company.

The River Clyde’s last remaining commercial shipbuilder has been fighting for survival in recent months and last night called in KPMG after failing to fix cash flow issues.

Joint administrators Blair Nimmo and Tony Friar say 70 of the yard’s 77 employees have been made redundant immediately. 

Effort is now underway to see if ongoing work can be completed and decide if a buyer can be found, KPMG says.

Employees were notified of the development this morning and the administrators are now on site assessing the remaining value in the business.

A famous name from a Great British shipbuilding past, Ferguson operates out of Newark Works in Port Glasgow.

Nimmo said in a statement: “Ferguson Shipbuilders is a leading name in the industry with a rich heritage dating back more than 110 years and is the last commercial shipbuilder operating on the River Clyde.

“The group’s infrastructure and unique offering has earned it global success in recent years, principally from the building of two ‘world first’ diesel hybrid ferries.  However, a lack of significant orders and mounting cash flow pressure has led to the group’s inability to continue trading.

“We would like to thank staff for their co-operation during this difficult period.  We will be working with employees and the relevant government agencies to ensure that the full range of support is available to all those affected.

“We would encourage any party who has an interest in acquiring the Group’s business and facilities to contact us as soon as possible.”

The shipbuilder was started by four brothers, Peter, Daniel, Louts and Robert, when they broke away from their father’s business.

At a yard rented for £500 per year, their first order was for two steam tugs, the Flying Swift and Flying Linnet.

It completed minesweepers, trawlers and hospital ships in the Great War and a further 30 vessels in World War II.

A spokesperson for the administrator was unable to provide details about its present orderbook.