COLLEGE bosses are under growing pressure over their refusal to reintroduce the 'James Watt'' name as councillors get involved in the debate.

Former Provost Ciano Rebecchi is looking for support from the education and communities committee as he calls on West College Scotland bosses to bring back the famous name.

It comes after Glasgow University officially renamed its global 'School of Engineering' after James Watt to mark the 200th anniversary of his death.

Inverclyde's three independent councillors - who are backing the Save our College campaign - say they are ready to back Councillor Rebecchi's motion.

Cllr Rebecchi said: "It says it all really when Glasgow University can rename their school of engineering and yet we had the name, and the college took it away."

In his motion going before the education and communities committee Cllr Rebecchi will ask that the committee formally requests the board of West College Scotland to reconsider its decision to remove the James Watt name from the college.

At the same time he will also ask for a report on courses currently available in the town and details of those that were previously available at the James Watt College.

The 'Save our College - Greenock' petition started by staff and students has been backed by independent councillors Tommy McVey, Lynne Quinn, Drew McKenzie and Ronnie Ahlfeld.

It calls on the campus to be named after the world famous engineer and raises concerns about the current set up in Greenock.

Speaking on behalf of his fellow independents,Cllr Tommy McVey said: "We find it quite ironic that Glasgow University will be renaming their School of Engineering after James Watt whilst West College Scotland have done the complete opposite.

"You couldn't make it up.

"Nonethless the fight to ensure that Greenock and indeed Inverclyde has a vibrant, fit for purpose, college suited for the 21st century, goes on.

"Members of the independent coalition welcome the fact that the campaign to reinstate the James Watt name at WCS Greenock and the ongoing situation at the college, will be discussed at the upcoming education and communities committee.

"This will give councillors on the committee an opportunity to make their views known."

Glasgow University announced their decision to rename their 'School of Engineering' after Watt over the weekend.

The university has been at the forefront of national efforts to recognise the significance of the Greenock inventor along with Birmingham University, which also has a campus in his name.

The head of the uni's James Watt School of Engineering, Professor David Cumming, said: "The importance of Watt's contribution to the field of engineering can't really be overstated, and we're very proud to be associated with the improvements he made to the Newcomen steam engine.

"The world has come a long way in 200 years, and much of that distance was covered using technology derived from the principles he established.

"It seemed fitting to mark the start of the third century of a post-Watt world with the renaming of the school."

A spokesman for West College Scotland said today: “Councillor Rebecchi has chosen not to contact the college to discuss his concerns.

"That’s unfortunate because we would be happy to meet him.

"He might prefer to have them raised them at the Inverclyde Alliance, of which we are active community members.

"We would be happy to address them there, too.”