LEISURE bosses were at 'fault' as they missed a deadline to ask for financial help for a £1.5m indoor tennis facility in Greenock.

Councillors on the education and communities committee heard how Inverclyde Leisure failed to submit an application to the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and sportscotland for the proposed indoor facility at Rankin Park.

But senior local authority official Grant McGovern insists the plans are still on track, with an application now due to be submitted next month.

He said: "Inverclyde Leisure were unable to meet the March 1st submission date.

"We have assurances that Inverclyde Leisure are now on track to have the application completed by the 1st June submission date."

Officials say that as a result of missing the original submission date, Inverclyde Leisure has had time to come up with a 'community network plan' and indoor tennis programme which includes detailed information on the proposed staffing structure and all the technical information specification and details of building for the project.

But concerned SNP councillor Jim MacLeod was keen to get a firm reassurance that the blunder would not have any impact on the plans for the facility.

He said: "Can I get assurances that there will be no negative impact in any way?

"Why are there two submission dates so close to each other, it seems a bit strange."

Mr McGovern replied: "There are four submission dates in the course of the year.

"It must be to do with sportscotland's funding cycle.

"It's certainly not the case that there will be any negative impact."

Rankin Park has been earmarked as a site for the new facility, which would allow people to play the sport all year round despite the weather.

Councillors have agreed to plough an additional £150,000 into the indoor facility, bringing the local authority's total contribution to £500,000.

Additional funding is being sought from the LTA and sportscotland, with the results of the application due later in the year.