THE historic McLean Museum in Greenock has reopened following a £2 million overhaul and the Tele was given an exclusive look around.

The complex had been closed for three years for the major restoration project led by owners Inverclyde Council.

It is now known as The Watt Institution - in honour of Greenock's most famous son, James Watt - and incorporates the McLean Museum & Art Gallery, the Watt Library and Watt Hall.

The Greenock Telegraph was given a tour of the revamped complex, overlooking Union Street, ahead of the eagerly-anticipated reopening on Friday morning.

Councillor Jim Clocherty, convener of environment and regeneration, said: "We're confident that local people will be impressed with the result of the work we've had done."

The redevelopment took a year longer than planned because of issues with dry and wet rot, sourcing appropriate masonry and the weather.

The council has funded the bulk of the work with national agency Historic Environment Scotland contributing £300,000 towards the £2.1m restoration.

As well as the repairs to the fabric of the building, it has been given an internal makeover with fresh decor, new carpets and flooring, upgraded and more energy-efficient lighting and additional seating.

Council officials say the building hasn't actually been rebranded because The Watt Institution has always been its legal name and it is simply being brought back into everyday use in what is the 200th anniversary of Watt's death this year.

The complex owes its origins to the Greenock Philosophical Society thanks to its growing collection of artefacts which were the foundation for a museum first proposed in 1863.

The library, housing a commemorative statue of Watt by Sir Francis Chantrey, dates from 1837 and the museum and hall from 1876 - both of which were funded by local timber merchant James McLean, who was also a member of the philosophical society.

Video and reporting by Paul John Coulter