A BUDGET boost will see £200,000 ploughed into a Greenock community centre.

Council officials have proposed allocating the money to refurbish the hall in Grieve Road, Bow Farm.

This follows the controversial closure of the Paton Street and Fancy Farm facilities last year, a decision which caused a rift among ward councillors.

But they are all in support of funding for the retained centre.

Independent Tommy McVey, who had previously supported a campaign to keep Paton Street open, welcomed the move.

He said: "Obviously this funding has to be approved in the upcoming council budget but if it is approved then it will be a big boost for our area.

"Since the Paton Street centre and the Fancy Farm Tenants' hall closed last year, myself and my fellow ward councillors, John Crowther and Natasha Murphy, have been working diligently behind the scenes with council officers to try and secure funding for the Grieve Road.

"I would like to say a big thank-you to those residents who have come forward and volunteered to join the management committee.

"There is a lot of hard work ahead but they are very enthusiastic and keen to get started.

"I would like to see the centre develop over the next few years and be as successful as some of the other community centres in Inverclyde."

Councillor Crowther praised the 'sterling work' of community learning and development officials which had resulted in a management committee being formed.

He said: "They are the unsung heroes for the amount of work they have put in over the last few months.

"This augurs well for the future and I look forward to working with the new committee when it is officially formed."

Fellow ward councillor Natasha Murphy told the Tele: "It is important that our ward has a facility that is fit for purpose and is a welcoming space for members of the community to meet together.

"This £200,000, if agreed at the budget, will allow the centre to be upgraded and refreshed.

"Ward seven has suffered from a lack of investment over a significant period of time and with this money, we can see a commitment to the people of the ward."