PLANS to transform an under-utilised area of Gourock Park into an educational growing space have been given the green light by the council.

Inverclyde Shed lodged a community asset transfer application for the walled garden back in October, and the request has now been approved.

It means the Shed can now rent the area, paying just £1 per annum for the next five years. 

Founder Bruce Newlands and his team want to turn the 100 sq ft piece of ground, which used to be home to a glasshouse, into a growing space.

Hard-working volunteers will help Bruce bring in 15 planters and a selection of trees planted in whisky barrels to get the garden off the ground. 

Greenock Telegraph:
Bruce says the growing space will act as an extension of the community garden at nearby Shore Street.

He added: "Shore Street has been a great success but we want to expand it and we're running out of space.

"It's a busy street and it can be difficult logistically to get groups of people there, especially children. The walled garden is a safe space and will help us show people how to grow fruit and veg.

"There are toilet facilities as well, which is very important.

"There's a real demand for more growing spaces like this and we're so pleased that we can go forward with our plans."

Bruce intends to plant heritage kale and apple trees, and wants to have the garden up and running before this summer's Gourock Garden Party.

READ MORE: Inverclyde Shed proposal to restore orchard at Gourock Park

He says the team at the Shed are very proud to be bringing part of Gourock's heritage back to life in a project which is supported by local people.

Bruce added: "The great thing about the community asset transfer process was that it involved consultation with the community. People really got engaged in the process and have helped us bring this to fruition."

Bruce thanked Gourock Community Council chair and ward councillor Lynne Quinn for their support.

Councillor Quinn, who is the chair of Gourock Regeneration Forum, said the park is a 'great asset' which brings footfall to the area.

Greenock Telegraph:

Councillor Quinn added: "The community asset transfer is allowing the Shed to take a space that's under-used and enhance it.

"As elected members, we're here to listen to what people think, and it's clear that there's overwhelming support for the Shed and what it does.

"Our parks belong to the people and the public were part of providing the solution here.

"It's about harnessing the power of the people and encouraging people to use their voices to improve the local area. 

"We need to do more of that in Inverclyde."