THE first phase of work to make a Gourock church more accessible has been completed.

A fundraising group was set up to raise £80,000 to install a lift, fit disabled toilets and modify Gourock Baptist Church.

The church is used by groups in the community as well as those who attend for worship but the entrance steps and steep hill were causing difficulties for people with mobility issues.

Through a variety of fundraising events, members of the church have already collected more than £50,00, allowing the first stage of work to get ahead.

Scott Gage Construction Services Limited carried out the work and now those using the church can benefit from the lift at the entrance, a wheelchair-friendly kitchen and toilet and a refurbished foyer and redecorated hall.

Reverend Ian Millar said: “The building was completed around 1897 and extended in 1923 so, as with all older buildings, the work was not too straightforward.

“Scott and his team have done a fantastic job, it was done on time and disruption was minimal.

"Although some activities stopped, many carried on and we were still able to worship.

“It has made a difference already - people have found the lift easy to use and everyone has been impressed."

Builder Scott added: “Everything pretty much went to plan and we are delighted with the finish.”

Rev Millar has thanked everyone who contributed to the fundraising for making the changes possible.

He said: “Generous financial contributions have been given by the Sharp Housing Trust, many Baptist churches across Scotland and Old Gourock and Ashton Church of Scotland.

“Generous donations were also received from individuals and we can’t thank them enough.”

Members will now turn their attention to fundraising for phase two of the project, which will see an additional toilet installed and a new entranceway installed.

Rev Ian Millar said: “Gourock Baptist Church is a community building with lots of clubs and classes running.

"We are hopeful that once work is complete we can extend the community use.

“More fundraising activities will follow as we seek to make our building more user-friendly and fit for the future use of our congregation and community groups.”

The next appeal event will be a lunch on Wednesday January 30 in the Ambition Restaurant at West College Scotland in Greenock.