HELENSBURGH’S MSP has urged the Scottish Government to provide “any support it can” to help get the famous paddle steamer Waverley sailing again.

The iconic ship’s 2019 entire 2019 sailing programme was cancelled earlier this month due to extensive problems with the vessel’s boilers, which her operators say will need to be replaced, at an estimated cost of £2 million, if she’s to return to service next year.

READ MORE: Paddle steamer Waverley 'faces £2 million bill' for new boilers

Jackie Baillie raised a question with the Scottish Government this week asking whether it would provide support to help with the repairs and if it would meet with representatives of the Waverley to discuss the issue further.

In response, the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said that “the Scottish Government, through its agencies, would be happy to provide appropriate advice and support” and confirmed that she is “more than happy to arrange appropriate meetings”.

Ms Baillie said: “The Waverley is an iconic vessel steeped in history that has a special place in the hearts of residents along the Clyde and across Scotland. It provides a unique and memorable experience for all visitors to the area.

“I was saddened at the announcement cancelling all excursions for 2019. It is clear that the cost of replacing the boilers will be significant and help will be required.

READ MORE: Waverley faces uncertain future as 2019 sailing season is cancelled

“I am delighted that the Scottish Government has agreed to meet with myself and with representatives from the Waverley to discuss how best to address the issues and any potential support that the Scottish Government can provide in order to get the Waverley sailing again.”