ACTIVISTS calling for urgent investment in an historic Inverclyde maritime site have handed over a 3,000-strong petition to Inverclyde Council.

Members of the Campaign to Save Inchgreen Dry Dock group called on the local authority to lend their support to their efforts as they presented the document at the Municipal Buildings on Tuesday.

The petition, which has 3,341 signatures, was accepted by councillor Jim McEleny and John Crowther on behalf of the council.

Former shipyard worker Robert Buirds, from Port Glasgow, launched the campaign in December and has gained a lot of support from residents across Inverclyde.

He is calling on Inchgreen owners Peel Ports to reveal their plans for the dock - where the world-famous QE2 was fitted out in the 1960s - and to invest in the ageing facility or hand it over to the community.

Mr Buirds said: "Our concern is that Inchgreen is being starved of investment and work by the Peel Group and their companies that has led to the deterioration of facilities and destruction of the cranes in 2017.

"Inverclyde should not be disadvantaged by a company controlling so much of our industrial heritage, it's now time for the council and the Scottish Government to reverse our industrial decline.

"We request the Petitions Committee propose that the council include the public/community ownership of Inchgreen Dry Dock in their five-year development plan."

Councillor Crowther said: "I'm delighted to accept this petition along with my colleague Councillor Jim McEleny as it highlights the general feeling of many residents that there is not enough emphasis on attracting inward investment into Inverclyde.

"We want to know what Peel's plans are for this site and for the area because there has been absolute silence."

The campaign group also plan to travel to Holyrood at a later date to hand over a copy of the petition to the Scottish Government.

Councillor McEleny said: "It's shocking the way Peel is allowing Inchgreen to fall into such a state of disrepair and we have serious concerns that unless action is taken soon then it will be too late and Inchgreen will be gone forever."

Peel have previously said they are 'fully committed' to Inchgreen - the second largest dry dock in the UK - and that it is not for sale.

The site is earmarked for £9.4m of investment from the Scottish and UK governments as part of the Glasgow Region City Deal project to create a renewable energy hub by 2022.