A COMMUNITY centre in the Port could move into the town's oldest building under a new plan drawn up by the council following a funding setback.

A bid was made to the Scottish Government by the council, along with partners RIG Arts, seeking cash to transform the King George VI building into a heritage site.

It was rejected - and the local authority has now lodged a fresh application, this time with Clune Park Resource Centre as its partner.

But Councillor Lynne Quinn says she is unhappy at the way the situation has been handled, complaining that a project steering group had not been informed of developments, nor RIG Arts.

She has also highlighted the fact that the building in King Street is quarter-owned by the Masonic Lodge 217, who have to agree to any proposal.

Cllr Quinn said: "The Port Glasgow Regeneration Forum wanted the building to be saved, as it is one of the oldest in the area.

"A steering group was set up including members of the regeneration forum, council officers, Port Glasgow Community Council members, the Masonic Lodge and Rig Arts.

"They were trying to get some funding to upgrade the building and create a heritage and arts community outreach facility.

"The council applied with them, taking responsibility for the building side of things and the partner on the community benefit end.

"They put the funding bid in with RIG Arts paying for the consultation."

Councillor Quinn says it's not right that no-one involved knew about the new funding bid following the rejection of the first application.

She said: "The council re-entered the bid and no-one on the steering group knew anything about it.

"RIG Arts has been cut out of the loop.

"There has been a lack of communication and lack of consultation, the steering group has been completely ignored."

Councillor Quinn has now called for immediate contact with the steering group and a meeting with RIG to discuss the best way to move forward.

The council says it has invested £1m on the B-listed building to preserve it for future generations and to try and bring it back into use.

Bosses also say that they are keen to involve the arts group under the new proposal.

A spokesperson told the Tele: “Work carried out to date has made it wind and watertight but it was always the case that external investment would be required to fully renovate it.

“RIG Arts expressed an interest in utilising the building, something we’re supportive of.

"However, their bid for additional regeneration funding from the government was rejected.

“In another attempt to try and bring the building back into use, we’ve now submitted a fresh bid for funding.

“If successful, that would see Clune Park Resource Centre relocate from its current base to the King George VI building, which is more easily accessible.

“This would breathe new life into the building, support the Clune Park group and create wider benefits for the people of Port Glasgow and Inverclyde.

“We’re still keen for RIG Arts to be part of that, to support their work in the community.

“We’ve been in regular contact with RIG Arts throughout this project and we will continue to have dialogue with them."