SIGNS highlighting Greenock’s rich history have appeared in the heart of the town centre as part of a tourism and regeneration drive.

Inverclyde Council has supported the local tourist group in producing street signs to mark the ‘historic quarter’ which was once a global powerhouse for shipping and trade.

Thanks to £20,000 investment from the local authority’s Greenock Town Centre Regeneration Fund, over 40 new name plates have been installed in areas such as Customhouse Quay, Cathcart Street and Wallace Place.

The project was spearheaded by like-minded members of Inverclyde Tourist Group, who sought to enhance an area which has proved popular with visitors on their walking tours over the years.

The embossed, aluminium street signs are in a more traditional style with black text on a white background and feature a silhouette of Greenock and Inverclyde’s most famous historical figure, James Watt.

Councillor Jim Clocherty, who chairs the town centre regeneration forum, said: “The new name plates really add to and enhance what is probably the most recognisable part of the town centre with so many historic buildings, streets and stories that goes with them.

“This project fits in with the ongoing regeneration of the town centre and our efforts to encourage people to discover Inverclyde.

“The by-product of that is an improved experience for visitors and residents alike and hopefully a boost for local businesses.

“The tourist group has played a key role in promoting the area over the years, particularly in giving cruise ship passengers and crew a warm and friendly welcome, and I applaud their work here in helping to deliver the eye-catching historic quarter signage.”

The tourist group drew inspiration for the project from the vibrant Merchant City area of Glasgow.

Betty Terris, chair of ITG, said: “In 2016 we were asked to put together a walking tour for Doors Open Day.

“The area now referred to as the historic quarter has such a rich past.

"It was the commercial heart of Greenock, with many of the important and earliest buildings still surviving helping us to get a picture of Greenock as it developed into one of the most important ports in the 1800s.

“The walk proved to be very popular and has been repeated many times for locals and visitors, so we were asked to provide an accompanying guide so that it can be used as self-guided walk.

“As the historic quarter also includes the birth place of James Watt we felt that we wanted to mark this as an area of importance, as Glasgow has with the Merchant City district.

"We looked at the signs they have there and thought we could do something similar and as the 200th anniversary of James Watt’s death was approaching it seemed significant to incorporate him in the new signs.

“We hope that local businesses can see the importance of our ‘merchant’ area."

For more information about the Greenock Historic Quarter Trail, visit