NIGHTCLUB bosses in Inverclyde have been given the green light to apply to stay open until 4.30am.

Local licensing officials have paved the way for the likes of Word Up and Red in Greenock to ask for extended hours permits for special events.

It follows a previous bid for a 4.30am licence on Hogmanay into New Year's Day.

Inverclyde Licensing Board agreed at the time to examine the request and have now invited interested parties to submit a formal application, which chairman Ronnie Ahlfeld said they will 'certainly have a look' at.

If approved, it would be the latest trading hours clubs have ever been allowed locally.

The idea was mooted when councillors on the board were asked to approve the annual festive opening hours extension for pubs and clubs.

Council solicitor James Douglas, said: "Word Up came to this board a couple of meetings ago to ask for an extension for a Hogmanay event and the board said they would look at that at a later time.

"Word Up was looking for 4.30am and Red nightclub on the same evening.

"You may wish to grant the policy as it stands and consider the continuation of the nightclubs licences to make a decision in November."

Councillors voted unanimously in favour of allowing pubs and clubs to stay open later during the festive period and to relax the midnight curfew on Hogmanay until 1am to accommodate those heading out after 'the bells'.

They also agreed to allow late-night venues to bid for a further extension.

Cllr Ahlfeld said: "The board has asked me to make it clear to those that offer a significant night-time entertainment, if you wish to have an extension to let us know sooner rather than later as the applications will have to be decided by the board in November."

Any bids will be examined by licensing officials and the police to assess whether they are viable or not.

The annual festive policy applies to all Inverclyde pubs and clubs but those wishing to take advantage of the later hours have been urged to notify the authorities as soon as possible.