ONE of Inverclyde's most popular landmarks is now standing proud after the council stepped in to complete a makeover.

Local residents had hit out at the state of the barriers around the Granny Kempock Stone, which had fallen in to a state of disrepair.

Council chiefs spent money at the mysterious site, which has links to witchcraft and pagan gods.

But they faced criticism for failing to paint the handrails, which was blamed on a wrangle over ownership.

Now they have put the issue to one side and the mysterious stone now looks fit for the many visitors who file past it every year.

Campaigning pensioner and former town councillor Jim Hunter, who lives in Riverside Gardens, said: "The handrails had not been painted and it really took the look away from the Granny Kempock Stone.

"But now the railings look great.

"There are lots of walkers - including cruise line passengers - who come by here.

"I am delighted that it has now been sorted out."

Neighbours living beside the stone had complained about the need for improvements which were then taken on by local councillors.

Renewed interest in the Granny Kempock Stone had been sparked by research by a university team from Manchester and a Glasgow University based archaeologist.

The stone has associations with a superstition involving sailors walking around it seven times to keep them safe.

But when it was put back in the spotlight this drew attention to the condition of the surrounding area.

Last year Inverclyde Council told the Tele that improvement works had been carried out.

When complaints surfaced about the hand rails the team said that there was some uncertainty around ownership.

The paint job has now been completed and a maintenance team recently moved in to cut back foliage.

An Inverclyde Council spokesman said: “Ownership of the railings is still unclear and would require more extensive and potentially costly checks, so it was decided in terms of delivering best-value for money and given the prominence of the railings and the local significance of the stone that we would repaint the railings.

“We continue to check and maintain the area regularly to ensure it is kept neat and tidy for residents and visitors.”