THE completion of a key Port Glasgow project has been delayed until after Christmas after an unexpected problem with power cables.

A new spur road opened last month off the A8 forming a new junction with Shore Street and Princes Street allowing direct access to the town centre.

However, a temporary closure to a short stretch of Shore Street directly in front of the Port Town Hall is to now remain in place.

Environment and Regeneration Convener Michael McCormick said: “We knew there were cables there but we had not anticipated they would be so shallow. Trial digging was undertaken at an early stage to confirm depths but once the whole area was opened up it was clear the cables rose sharply further down the road.

“The design team and contractor are working with the utility provider to develop a workable solution to this problem but unfortunately this will take some time and we cannot re-open the road until it has been completed safely.”

Jim Stevenson from the contractor RJ McLeod said: “It is unlikely Shore St will be open before Christmas – I think realistically we are now looking at handover early in the New Year.

“We would like to thank local businesses and residents for their patience so far and ask for their continued support to allow us to complete this essential work.”

The new hard-landscaped civic space will extend over Shore Street from the front of the Town Hall towards the grass lawn on the site of the former car park.

A second phase of the works will also include the demolition of redundant buildings at the rear of the Town Hall to create a new civic square.

The project is being delivered on behalf of the Council by the urban regeneration company Riverside Inverclyde.