COUNCIL officials have cold feet over a new Inverclyde wedding venue — despite spending over £500,000 on it.

Work is currently under way to redevelop the former District Court room within Greenock’s Municipal Buildings to replace the current marriage suites at Inverclyde Council’s West Stewart Street registry office, which will close down next month.

But now it has emerged that the old legal chamber is not considered fit for purpose — because it is not ‘fully accessible’ to the public.

Council bosses are instead proposing the Provost’s Room in Port Glasgow Town Hall becomes the designated long term wedding venue.

There is currently no lift access to the District Court for disabled people and there are also concerns that its use as a registry office would impact on building security and interfere with day-to-day council business.

The Greenock Provost’s Room will be used as a temporary marriage suite until next summer, with its Port counterpart taking over in the long-term.

Alan Puckrin, the council’s chief financial officer, said: “Officers have examined options for the permanent designation of the marriage facility, taking into account that it is a requirement that the facility be dedicated for that purpose and needs to be fully accessible to members of the public without compromising building security or day-to-day council business.

“Officers believe that whilst there is much to commend the use of the former District Court as a marriage facility post-refurbishment by couples who wish a prestigious historical venue, a more functional facility is required for the designated facility given the number of small ceremonies which currently take place and the access issues.”

The current West Stewart Street building will close next month to save money and the District Court was earmarked as its permanent replacement as the council is legally-bound to have somewhere for couples to tie the knot.

The upgrades to it soon fell behind schedule and went over-budget.

The permanent switch to the Port Provost’s Room will require £25,000 worth of upgrades to replace the ceiling, redecorate and install new lighting, curtains, blinds and furniture.

Officials say they are ‘confident’ the facility will be ready by next August.

The District Court will still be used as a wedding venue once the refurbishment work there is complete and it will be promoted as an ‘alternative unique and historical location’ with access via the town hall, which is already used for wedding receptions.

Talks are taking place with Inverclyde Leisure, which runs the town hall, about installing a lift in the hall keeper’s office, linking the venue with the District Court marriage suite upstairs, at a cost of around £200,000.

Councillors on the policy and resources committee will discuss the proposals later this month.