IMPROVEMENTS to Port Glasgow town centre are on the right path - with a £335,000 project to upgrade pavements and roads well under way.

Work began a fortnight ago on Princes Street and is due to last until the end of the year.

Pavements between Shore Street and Church Street are being repaired first before upgrades are carried out on other paths and roads.

The £335,000 scheme is part of Inverclyde Council's £2.5m towns and villages investment programme.

Councillor Michael McCormick, regeneration convener, said: "This work will give the town centre a new look and feel.

"There is a growing recognition that Port Glasgow has the potential to become a bustling and thriving town centre for local people and visitors alike, matching the popularity of the retail park.

"Princes Street is the main thoroughfare through the town and combined with the improvements we have already made to the town centre I am confident we can continue to attract fresh investment to the area.

"We are working hard to keep local traders and residents informed about the work and are happy to answer any concerns or questions they might have. "The disruption will be short-term when set against the future benefits and prosperity of Port Glasgow."

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) has contributed £150,000 towards the cost of the project for additional carriageway works.

Port councillor David Wilson, who is also the organisation's vice chair, said: "SPT is delighted to play its part in delivering improvements in and around Port Glasgow.

"Once these works are complete it will deliver a much improved public realm within the town centre for both pedestrians and cyclists whilst also improving integration and accessibility with local public transport services.

"It will also mean better access to retail and leisure activities as well as general business premises, helping to support the economic regeneration of our town."

A section of new pavement has already been laid between Shore Street and Church Street.

Council leader Stephen McCabe said: "It's a major improvement on what was there before. "The council has invested a lot of money in Port Glasgow over the years and it's important we continue the programme. "I very much welcome the funding from SPT in addition to the funding from the council."

The latest town centre upgrades are on top of the recently-opened spur road linking Princes Street to the A8.

Further environmental improvements have also been identified, including the removal of redundant buildings and the restoration of empty shop units.

Ward councillor Drew McKenzie, who runs a butchers shop on Princes Street, said: "It's going to be a big bugbear getting it done but overall it's a step in the right direction for Port Glasgow to enhance the town."