AN historic church building in Greenock is back in business thanks to a group of local ladies.

The former George Square Baptist Church, which dates back to the 19th century, is being used from balcony to basement after being snapped up and turned into a hub for local traders.

Lynne Weston bought the building eight years ago and says the vision to turn it into a home for local businesses has kept it relevant and in use.

She explained: "It's central to the town, has good parking facilities and can cater for so many industries, businesses and classes.

"So many older buildings are left empty, become derelict and eventually have to be knocked down.

"We are helping to keep this historic building alive."

Christine Anderson, who uses the main hall to run a gymnastics class, said: "A few our our clients who bring their grandchildren to the sessions used to go to this church and are pleased it is being put to good use, especially for children.

"It's a lovely big building."

Renie Livingstone, 71, brings her granddaughter Holly Ballantyne to the classes and is full of praises for the effort to keep the building in full flight.

She added: "Every night you see the lights on and it is great these ladies are keeping the building occupied. There is something on at the church every night, which is brilliant when there are so many similar old buildings lying empty."

Alicia McCallum, who runs a dance class with 150 students in the basement, said: "It's a great space and our group really benefits from it.

There is also a baby and kids arts class run from the church, while Annette Weston opened up a curtain business 14 months ago in the basement, alongside an aerial acrobatics studio.

Annette said: "It was a hobby that turned into a business.

"I love working here, you feel safe and we all get on well together.

"I turned a kitchen into a workroom and another room is used for consultations and displays."

Lynne said the fact that it is all women who run all the business is also a positive.

She said: "It such a hot topic just now.

"It's very empowering for women, especially self-employed women, to be working in unison like we all are. It's great to have like-minded ladies around me."

Pictured are Annette, Christine Anderson with kids, Lynne Weston on the balcony, Lynne, Annette, Alicia and Christine.