THE campaign to restore the James Watt name to Greenock's college campus continues to grow with 1500 supporters now backing the drive.

A petition by the Save Our College group, set up by staff and students, to bring back the iconic title is continuing to gather pace.

The campaigners are calling on West College Scotland bosses to honour one of Greenock most famous sons on the 200th anniversary of his death.

James Watt College was part of the town for 100 years until the name disappeared when it merged with Clydebank and Reid Kerr in Paisley under the West College Scotland banner.

The swell in support comes just after senior councillor Ciano Rebecchi submitted a formal request to rename the college campus.

A Save Our College campaign spokesperson said: "The people are making their voices heard.

"We can certainly say people power is gaining momentum. Strength of feeling from within our local communities is substantial. This is a community campaign and people are determined to see the name James Watt on our college buildings once again."

Campaigners are also putting pressure on college bosses to invest in the local facilities and have raised concerns about cuts.

West College Scotland Principal Liz Connelly recently spoke to the Telegraph and promised that there were 'no plans' to downgrade the college - saying the organisation was fully committed to Greenock.

A spokesperson for the campaign group hit back: "We will keep the principal and senior management team to their word for the future, but there is a lot of catching up from years of downsizing already.

"The people of our local communities consist of the most important stakeholders – prospective students and their families – and they should be listened to."

In recent weeks councillors have repeatedly raised their concerns about the future of the college.

Former Provost Mr Rebecchi has asked which courses are currently available at WCS in Greenock and those which had been withdrawn or moved to Paisley or Clydebank.

West College Scotland bosses have repeatedly refused to consider any name change and they have told the Tele that 'continue to invest' in Greenock.