A TROUBLED shipyard at the centre of a long-running dispute over two ferries has warned it is on the brink of administration.

Ferguson Marine – the last of its kind on the Clyde – has until next Friday to find the solution to a cash crisis sparked by the row.

Nicola Sturgeon said the Scottish Government was determined to find a solution to the problem.

The shipyard has been in a long-running dispute with Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL), the public body that owns CalMac’s ferries, for months over the delivery of two vessels.

The row concerns rising costs for the building of two long-awaited ferries – now thought to be almost double the original £97 million contract price.

Ministers argue Ferguson Marine, owned by Scots tycoon Jim McColl’s Clyde Blowers firm, should foot the extra bill. However, if this cannot be agreed, it is believed the Scottish Government is preparing to nationalise the yard to ensure it stays open.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Our priority remains to ensure the completion of the vessels under construction, secure jobs for the workforce and protect the future of shipbuilding at the site.

“We have been working to secure a future for the shipyard for two years, and it is disappointing that we have not been able to reach a commercial solution with [Clyde Blowers] that would have prevented administrators becoming involved.

“We appreciate that this will be a concerning time for the workforce, their families and the local community, and we would like to reassure them that we are committed to maintaining the jobs on the site and building a secure future for the yard and its workforce.

Sturgeon tweeted: “I know that this news will be worrying for workers at Fergusons. @scotgov is determined to find a solution that will protect jobs and secure the future of the yard, and we will be continuing work over the weekend to find a way forward.”