A MAJOR £1m restoration project to preserve and revamp Port Glasgow's oldest building has run into major problems.

Repair work at the historic King George VI building in King Street has been suspended due to serious structural issues.

The building needs a new roof to keep it wind and watertight, as well as immediate electrical work.

But the work has come to a halt after dangerous structural problems were discovered.

It means most of the rear wall, including a spiral staircase, will have to be demolished for safety reasons.

Speaking at a meeting of the environment and regeneration committee, a council officials said: "The spiral staircase which we knew was leaning has actually pulled the wall away.

"So part of the wall would have to be removed and rebuilt."

The refurbishment programme is being carried out in two phases, with the first part of the project set to cost £730,000 while the second phase to cost £270,000.

But after discovering the further problems, the work has been put on hold so that new costs can be outlined.

The official addressing councillors said: "The current specification is to rebuild with sandstone and that's very expensive.

"We didn't anticipate such a large area like this.

"It was obvious we could go above the budget so at that point we put the contract on hold.

"One solution is to change the specification.

"We have come up with an alternative specification to rebuild it with brickwork and render it.

"We have explored that with Historic Scotland."

A further update on the situation will be provided to councillors at the next committee meeting at the end of October.