PLANS have been unveiled for a shop and community hub on a Greenock gap site.

The Salvation Army wants to utilise the space next to the Roxburgh Street entrance of its citadel, to support its charitable work and services.

The proposal, currently being considered by planners, is for a shop, community hub and meeting rooms on the site, which has been targeted by vandals and used as a dumping ground in the past.

If given the go-ahead, a full-time member of staff would be taken on to oversee the new venture.

Major Lynn Farmer, who is in charge of Greenock Salvation Army, said: "We want to create a safe and welcoming place where we can offer practical support, volunteering opportunities and somewhere people can count on for a listening ear.

"Visually it would benefit the area as well. "The area we are looking to redevelop is a gap in our site so it would also add a bit of safety to the area.

"Thanks to the generosity of local people and business we're on schedule to hit our fundraising target. "Hopefully the council can help us turn our vision into a reality."

The Salvation Army runs a range of programmes locally, including a recovery cafe for people with addiction problems and a 'floating support' service for those at risk of losing their tenancies.

The development would allow the charity to expand its offering to help even more vulnerable members of society.

Brian Murphy, manager of the floating support service, said: "We want to have as big an impact on our local community as we possibly can. To bring more vulnerable people in, to talk and socialise and be a lifeline for them.

"We see this being a place for our service users to volunteer, build up their confidence and learn new skills.

"We'll also be looking to create some smaller spaces with a bit more privacy for the vulnerable as well as special toilets and showering facilities.

"It would give staff more options to run activities and support groups and a new space to hold training sessions."

The Salvation Army's work in Greenock began in 1882 and was spearheaded by a man named Captain Bates.

It soon became part of the fabric of the town and relocated to Holmscroft Street before moving to its current site in 1972.

Lesley Anderson, a specialist drug and alcohol support worker with the Salvation Army in Greenock, said: "I'm excited about the possibilities for the redevelopment. "It would mean I'd have another safe space to work with people."