A SENIOR Scottish Government minister has visited two major construction sites in Greenock to get a look behind the scenes.

Housing and planning minister Kevin Stewart MSP was joined by Inverclyde Council depute leader Jim Clocherty as he toured St Mary's Primary - currently undergoing a major revamp -

and the site of the new £21m Greenock Health Centre.

The fact finding visit was arranged so he could see an example of how building owners, design teams and contractors work to ensure that projects are delivered in line with building regulations.

The health centre on the former Wellington Academy is due to open in 2020.

St Mary’s Primary, originally built in 1910, is undergoing a £6m refurbishment, with the interior of the building being modernised and a new gym and assembly hall extension being added.

Fire safety measures are a major part of the project and this includes the installation of sprinklers and changes to the layout to make it easier to escape in case of a fire.

The visits followed the Scottish Government’s review of fire safety and building standards compliance and enforcement, launched after the Grenfell Tower tragedy and the wall collapse at Oxgangs Primary School in Edinburgh.

The Building Standards Futures Board, which is chaired by Inverclyde Council's chief executive Aubrey Fawcett, was subsequently established to oversee the implementation of their recommendations.

Government minister Mr Stewart said: “I have seen how collaboration between the council, building owners, construction and design teams is key to achieving compliance with buildings standards. "These developments are testament to that approach.

“The Scottish Government published updated building standards last month that will ensure projects are safe and fit for purpose – as well as being great places to live, work and study.

“We will continue to work closely with our stakeholders to ensure Scotland’s buildings meet the highest safety standards.”

Councillor Clocherty added: “Building standards are not red tape.

"They ensure that the structures we live in, work in, study in and relax in are safe.

"There can be no shortcuts when it comes to safety.

"Grenfell Tower is a stark reminder of that fact.

“This is why it is so important that our building standards regime is fit for purpose, that construction firms comply and that where there isn’t compliance, there is strong and effective enforcement.”