RESIDENTS and businesses in Gourock town centre are being evacuated tomorrow after a submarine mine was found in the River Clyde.

People living in Kempock Street from the Sainsbury's shop along to just beyond the war memorial will be taken to Clydeview Academy between 8am and 2pm after the device was found in the water near Gourock Outdoor Pool and gym.

Police Scotland said: "The residents who will require to evacuate are located on Kempock Street (from Sainsbury’s end), some properties within Albert Road, and one property on Bath Street, and other areas up to approximately 50 metres beyond the war memorial."

The Royal Navy Bomb Disposal Team are expected to carry out an underwater controlled explosion after locating the World War Two mine earlier today.

It was first spotted on the seabed last Wednesday by divers, prompting a search by experts.

A spokeswoman from Police Scotland said: "Properties within 200 metres of the device will be evacuated to a respite centre at Clydeview Academy.

"The bomb disposal team will lift the device from its current location and move it out to sea to deactivate at approximately 12 noon.

"I must stress that this is a precautionary measure.

"This device has been there for about 50-odd years so vessels have probably been passing it for years and nothing has happened."

People living within 500 metres of the device are allowed to stay at home but are advised to open their windows as a precautionary measure incase of glass shattering and are also advised to stay away from them and not go outdoors.

That advice applies to residents in Kempock Place, Albert Road, Barrhill Road, Binnie Street, St John's Road, Bath Street, Adelaide Street, Broomberry Drive, John Street, Royal Street, Station Road and Burgh Walk.

As part of the operation, Kempock Street will be closed to traffic and there could possibly be some disruption to ferries as there is a 1,000 metre exclusion zone in the water.

However, trains are expected to run as normal.

A spokeswoman at the Ministry of Defence was also keen to reassure people about the operation. She said: "A submarine mine has been found but they can't identify if it's live or not.

"So they are going to lift and shift the device tomorrow."

Anyone who will be affected by the evacuation and has questions or needs transport to Clydeview Academy is asked to phone the council on 717171.