ADULTS with learning disabilities are having to travel miles outwith Inverclyde every day because of a 'shortage' of suitable leisure facilities.

Officials who are looking at plans for a new care centre say there is a lack of opportunities locally.

Health and social care bosses are planning to develop a new hub for adults with learning disabilities in an existing building in Inverclyde and they hope to incorporate some leisure space in it.

At present staff make daily trips to the likes of Braehead with service users to make sure that their needs are met.

Councillors will be asked to consider a shortlist of eight preferred sites for a new hub to replace the Fitzgerald Centre and McPherson Centre, which has closed down.

But a report notes there are no suitable buildings available for refurbishment at this moment in time.

Director Louise Long said: "As services have merged, it has become more apparent that there is a lack of accessible leisure facilities for people with a learning disability across Inverclyde and this has been identified within the new hub requirements.

"The service currently provides transport and staffing on a daily basis for a number of service users to attend out of local authority area services, for example the Onyx Centre, Linwood, the Lagoon Centre, Paisley, Bowlplex, Braehead and the Experience, Hillington for accessible leisure facilities to ensure they remain active and that their health and wellbeing needs are met."

Under a redesign of services, adults with learning disabilities and autism are to be given greater opportunities in the community and have less centre-based care.

The former Homebase unit in Greenock was considered for a new facility but has been removed from the shortlist because it is 'unavailable'.

The McPherson Centre and the Fitzgerald Centre merged in September this year with the later receiving some upgrades.

The closure of the McPherson Centre and other premises has saved the council £120,000.