PLANS have been unveiled to transform a former office building in Gourock into an art gallery and creative space.

Inverclyde Council has received a proposal to convert the site next to the former police station in Kempock Place into a ground floor facility for exhibitions and first floor studio and workshop.

A planning application has been lodged by local businessman Stephen Henry, director of Henry Enterprises, which is in the process of procuring the property from the local authority.

In a supporting statement, he set out his ambition for 5 Kempock Place, writing: “The plan is to utilise the ground floor as a gallery for creatives to enable artists/creatives to exhibit their art.

“Our plan is to provide a facility which enables one artist at a time to create an exhibition of their work over a one-week period (or more, and given the opportunity some artists may offer elements of their work for sale).

“The plan is to provide a highly professional creative gallery and to rent this facility out to artists at a weekly rate.

“This will drive additional opportunity for local businesses, for example, every Friday night could be an independent exhibition launch night.

“Each launch night will have unique support need, however, these will generally require the support of local vendors with regards to food, beverages and entertainment etc.

“With regards to the first floor, our plan is to keep the floor plan as is, with a possible slight modification around the toilets to ensure that they are gender neutral.

“Then offer out the upstairs space to creatives and community groups on a monthly rental basis e.g. several artists may choose to use one of the rooms for several months at a set fee.”

Mr Henry said the intended use of the site would be sympathetic to the character of the building and supplement the business community in nearby Shore Street and Kempock Street.

He added: “By retaining this character of the property, developing and building on this, and using the architecture of the building to inspire Inverclyde’s creative community, we believe that the value and benefits will be very significant.”