WORK has stopped on a £2 million project to extend Gourock Primary after the building firm plunged into administration.

Workers downed tools at the site last week and there has been no activity since then.

The situation is a major headache for the council as the company, JB Bennett Ltd, also has the contract for the new £1.7 million children's home in Crosshill Place in Port Glasgow and work has stopped there too.

It was confirmed yesterday that the firm had ceased trading, making all staff - just under 50 people - redundant.

Gourock councillor Lynne Quinn told the Telegraph: "There were concerns over the fact that workers downed tools at Gourock Primary and the children's home in Port Glasgow.

"The works were ongoing when the kids are still there.

"The concern is the inconvenience of it - the pupils are pretty much living on a site, obviously safely, which is fine when there is an end is sight.

"The school will now be inconvenienced further

"We are still awaiting official confirmation but then the council will have to find another contractor to complete the works.

"These delays will have financial implications."

Councillor Quinn also said it was a blow for the youngsters waiting to move into their new home.

She said: "This was almost completed and it is disappointing for these children who were looking forward to moving into their new home.

"It's a shame for the kids."

Cllr Quinn said that she also had sympathy for workers who had lost their jobs.

Fellow Gourock councillor Chris McEleny says he has sought assurances that the project will be finished off as soon as possible.

He learned about workers walking off site at the school from concerned parents.

Mr McEleny said: "I am seeking reassurances that there will be no detrimental impact on young people.

"This could knock the programme back by several months so I hope council officials can provide urgent reassurances to ensure the work is completed in a timely and safe manner - and there absolutely must be no impact to the education received and quality of care to young people in the area."

The extension project was due to be completed by now but has been dogged by delays.

Last May the contractor confirmed that they were running behind schedule.

Details of a delay in pouring foundations emerged in a progress report by council officials, with difficult ground conditions cited, along with the fact that existing services were in different locations to that of utility provider record drawings.

The project includes a new dining hall and kitchen, new entrance and extra car parking spaces on the Broomberry Drive side of the building.

Council bosses say that are doing everything they can to come up with a solution to the problem and vowed the works will be completed.

A spokesperson for Inverclyde Council said: “JB Bennett (Contracts) Ltd is working on two projects in Inverclyde.

"One is the new Crosshill Children’s Home and the other is the extension for Gourock Primary School.

“Workers left both sites on Tuesday.

"We are currently seeking written confirmation regarding the company’s status.

"The council has now secured both building sites.

"We would like to reassure everyone that we are working hard to resolve the current situation and that, while these projects may be delayed, both will be completed.”