A MAJOR multi-million pound leisure development could be set to transform one of Inverclyde’s most iconic buildings.

The Tele understands that several major investors, including a gym, champagne bar and cinema have declared an interest in moving into Greenock’s historic Sugar Sheds.

The sheds were in a serious state of disrepair until 2009 when James Watt Dock Marina, regeneration company Riverside Inverclyde and Peel Ports — who co-own the building — spent £3.7m making them wind and watertight in the hope of attracting inwards investment.

The plans were left on the shelf after the recession hit — but a source told the Tele that several firms have now touched based with Riverside Inverclyde to explore a number of opportunities.

They said: “Commercial interest in Scotland’s largest surviving cast-iron and brick industrial building is growing and it is my understanding that a number of companies are serious about vying for a presence at such a prime waterfront site.

“Riverside Inverclyde has received several declarations of interest in the sheds, and they are hopeful these could be progressed.

“Some of the companies who have declared an interest include a major cinema chain, a firm who specialise in champagne bars and a gym operator.”

Bosses at Riverside Inverclyde and James Watt Dock LLP, a partnership between Peel Holdings and Riverside Inverclyde, would not confirm or deny the interest when contacted by the Tele earlier today.

The news is another indication that the historic buildings could be brought back into use after coming to life temporarily during the Tall Ships in 2011.

Earlier this month, we revealed that Inverclyde’s largest housing association, River Clyde Homes (RCH) was understood to be in discussion about potentially moving its 300-strong workforce into the historic Grade A listed building at James Watt Dock Marina.

The organisation’s current headquarters on Roxburgh Street is reaching capacity and bosses have been exploring alternative premises for a number of years.

The Sugar Sheds are located next to the site where RCH is awaiting planning permission for a £19m 136-flat development.

Housing association bosses would not confirm their interest in the Sugar Sheds but admitted that a move away from Roxburgh House is being explored.