AN historic Greenock drinking fountain is set to be brought back to life.

Bosses at Inverclyde Council have unveiled a proposal to restore the Lyle Fountain in Cathcart Square as part of the new £1.9m regeneration plan for the town centre.

It means that the fountain will once again have a practical purpose rather than simply being a local monument.

Councillor Jim Clocherty, who is the chair of Greenock Regeneration Forum and depute leader of the council said: "The fountain was gifted to Greenock in 1880 and has become a local landmark admired by residents and visitors alike.

“Regeneration is not just about building the new but ensuring we preserve, protect and renew the old.

“The fountain is a perfect example of Inverclyde’s proud civic heritage.

"It is something that deserves to be given a new lease of life.”

The fountain in Cathcart Square was gifted by Abram Lyle - founder of the Lyle sugar refinery which would later merge with Henry Tate’s refinery to form Tate & Lyle.

Abram Lyle was described as a 'pious' strict teetotaller.

He served as the Provost of Greenock from 1876 to 1879 before moving to London to set up a refinery producing golden syrup.

The circular fountain is capped with an ornamental dome featuring the crests of 18 prominent families of Greenock including Ardgowan, Watt and Morton.

Councillor Clocherty added: “We have found that water and electricity supplies to the fountain were disconnected some time ago but we are confident they can be restored.

“Our history and heritage are hugely important community assets and we will do all that we can to preserve and protect them for future generations.”