TRIBUTES have been paid to a much loved local businessman who has sadly passed away.

Pat Bryceland died last Saturday at Inverclyde Royal Hospital.

His funeral was held today.

Throughout his working career he was devoted to Inverclyde where he was born and bred.

His family told the Tele: "The remarkable thing about Pat is that he never changed.

"He worked extremely hard to share his knowledge and inspire others especially young people and his family to do the same."

From the age of 11, Pat walked the streets selling newspapers to bring money into the household.

He then spent two years in the army.

At the age of 20, Pat started selling scrap and met wife Ina the following year.

The couple settled down and bought their first home in Bank Street, with Pat working as a pool attendant at the outdoor pool at the Battery Park in the early years.

It was in the mid-1960s that he entered the cleaning industry, taking a job as a window cleaner with Harry Gillan Cleaning.

His hard graft was noticed and he quickly became a supervisor.

He continued to work for Harry Gillan for the next 10 years, managing numerous contracts throughout Inverclyde including with IBM.

His extremely high standards delivered with the help of over 100 employees saw them maintain this contract for more than 30 years.

During this period he undertook his first property development by converting the family home on South Street into two flats.

The family lived in one and rented out the other.

The challenging circumstances of his childhood meant Pat missed out on opportunities for education.

As an adult he enrolled into night school to learn English at James Watt College and grasped every opportunity that came his way.

In the early 80s, Pat became a founding director of MITIE which grew over the next 30 years.

He maintained his position as director of their west of Scotland branch until 1997, employing thousands of local people over the years.

Throughout the years, Pat continued to convert many more properties locally including the tenement buildings on Shore Street in Gourock, five buildings on Murdieston Street, Sandringham Terrace, the old DHSS building in Regent Street, Jamaica Street and Castle Levan Hotel in Gourock, which he stripped to a shell and rebuilt internally.

At the age of 60, he retired from MITIE and started his own cleaning company, CICS Ltd, with his two sons, Patrick and Scott, and they opened offices in Greenock and London.

As a local businessman, Pat had many young people in the area coming to him for advice on starting their own company or how to get into the property market and loved to share his knowledge.

In 2016, Pat was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his services to Inverclyde, of which he was very proud.

He leaves behind his loving wife Ina, three children, nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren.