A NEW £160,000 play park and football pitch is set to open at Branchton Community Centre.

Work started in June to dig out the old equipment and replace it with state-of-the-art facilities.

The play park was resurfaced and the existing multi-use games area was upgraded with new flooring and boards.

The work meant that the park was closed over the summer but with everything now in place, the community had been invited to attend the opening on Friday - before a delay involving contractors.

Willie Wilson, manager, said: “We now own the centre and are able to open the brand-new play area.

“We have been working on the project for about a year and a half because we had to obtain funding and own the centre before work could begin.

“The community didn’t have access to the play area over the summer and this event is very much for them.

“We are so thankful for the support of the community and delighted to be able to say that all the work is nearly complete.

"We don't have an exact date to open, but we hope it will be very soon."

Funding for the play area was made up of a £109,000 grant from the Scottish Government's Cashback from Communities scheme and £50,000 from Inverclyde Council.

Councillor Michael McCormick, the local authority's convener of environment and regeneration, is delighted to see the play area opening.

He said: “This is an important new asset for the local community and I am delighted the council was able to make such a significant contribution towards it.

“We have made the provision of play areas and leisure facilities a priority – investing over £14m in recent years - to help our children and young people enjoy the social and health benefits they provide and to build on the strong sense of community that is so important in Inverclyde.”

Staff at the centre hope to make the most out of the new facility and are even hoping to set up local football teams.

Mr Wilson told the Tele: “The multi-use games area is great and we hope to set up local football teams and train coaches over the next few years.

“We want to make the most of the space and encourage anyone who is interested in this idea to get in touch with the centre.”