URGENT calls for targeted funding to alleviate depressing levels of deprivation in Inverclyde are intensifying in the wake of the coronavirus data on the district.

The renewed plea comes following the revelation that council wards here were the top hotspot areas in the whole of Scotland for transmission of deadly disease.

Data compiled previously during the ongoing pandemic emergency has pointed to a strong connection between poverty and community vulnerability to the virus.

The council's SNP group leader Chris McEleny said: "This new resource adds weight to calls that have been made for a special deprivation fund to target inequality in Inverclyde."

Council leader Stephen McCabe added: "The Scottish Government needs to provide extra support for areas like Inverclyde."