The massively delayed new Arran ferry has taken a huge stride towards completion.

The MV Glen Sannox, the first of two dual fuel vessels being built at Ferguson Marine Ltd., is currently four years behind schedule, being at the heart of the £230 million ferries fiasco.

Now the boat has been moved to dry dock in Greenock to undergo remedial works including replacement of the bulbous bow, paint repair and removal of marine growth from the vessel hull.

The ferry has been sitting in the water at Ferguson Marine's Port Glasgow facility since 2017.

Work had been called off due to coronavirus, but crews began returning in June. It is not yet clear how much of a delay the pandemic has had on the Glen Sannox or the as-yet unamed second vessel - Hull 802.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

The repairs and rework were identified during the review of the condition of the two dual fuel vessels, conducted after the shipyard went into administration in August 2019, and are included in the programme review board report published in December 2019.

READ MORE: Ardrossan to remain main berth for Arran Ferry despite Troon works green light

Tim Hair, turnaround director at Ferguson Marine (Port Glasgow) Ltd, said: “This is a key milestone in the recovery programme for the dual fuel vessels.  Some work has been carried out on MV Glen Sannox at the shipyard, but the dry dock period is important because it will bring the vessel up to a condition that will allow us to move forward in earnest with the vessel completion plan.

“It is also another clear sign of recovery for the shipyard business and comes only weeks after the launch of a steel barge for a customer in the offshore oil and marine sector.

“Obviously, the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown has impacted activity at the shipyard, but our workforce has been returning to outdoor working since the end of June and we are operating effectively with social distancing controls in place.”

MV Glen Sannox is scheduled to return to the Ferguson shipyard at the end of August.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: