The future of the new Arran ferry could be under threat amid the chaos of the last commercial Clyde shipyard going bust.

The Scottish Government was accused of “reckless mismanagement” after Finance Secretary Derek Mackay confirmed he was set to take Ferguson Marine in Port Glasgow into public ownership at a multi-million pound cost to taxpayers.

However, Cunninghame North MSP Kenneth Gibson says nationalisation of the shipyard is now the only way to prevent the Glen Sannox being potentially impounded by the administrator, pending sale or liquidation.

He added that the already delayed new ferry will now unlikely hit the waves before 2021 after bosses at Ferguson Marine said they had begun appointing an administrator, with Finance Secretary Derek Mackay saying the Scottish Government were “ready and willing” to take the yard under public ownership.

Ferguson Marine has been at the centre of an increasingly bitter row between SNP ministers and billionaire Jim McColl, whose Clyde Blowers empire bought the yard in 2014.

Although the firm quickly landed a £97m order for two innovative dualfuelCalMac ferries,the deal has been blighted by design changes, delays and a 100 per cent cost overrun.

Cunninghame North MSP Kenneth Gibson, said: “I have been in regular discussions with ministerial colleagues and the situation is evolving rapidly.

“With FMEL facing imminent administration, Scottish Ministers feel the only way to save the jobs of the 290 workers and ensure ferry completion is to nationalise the yard. This is likely to happen within 48 hours. Other scenarios, such as another private investor coming in are highly improbable.

“Without nationalisation, the yard would not only close immediately, the workers would be sacked and the ferries impounded by the administrator, pending sale or liquidation of the assets. All this would kick the completion of the Glen Sannox well into the future.

“Scottish Ministers will set up an expert group to oversee completion of the yard’s nationalisation, putting management in place and getting work re-started on the vessels by the end of next month/early October. CMAL will take charge until then.

“Both vessels should be completed in around 18 months and additional funding will be provided to ensure that. At this point, I cannot say how much, as a full assessment will be required, once CMAL take charge of the yard.

“As yet, no completion date has been decided for the Glen Sannox. However, it is unlikely to enter service next year, with 2021 probable.”

Scottish Conservative transport spokesman Jamie Greene MSP said: “This unsurprising announcement is entirely the result of the SNP’s reckless mismanagement of the Ferguson marine contract and a complete embarrassment to them.

“The way to jobs and the yard’s future is by ensuring that the current ferry contract concludes by resolving the dispute over cost over-runs.

“Nationalising Ferguson Marine simply raises more questions than answers and offers no certainty to the business at all.

“It’s pretty clear that Derek Mackay has no clue whatsoever what the cost to the taxpayer will be, over and above the tens of millions of pounds already spent on this bungled contract.

“Given the SNP’s poor track record on running nationalised businesses, there is no guarantee that doing so will provide any long term security, deliver a finished product or provide any comfort to the workers and their families.”