A RANGE of key improvements are being planned for Inverclyde Sports Centre - including the introduction of a new golfing centre of excellence.

Principal Barry Fleeting revealed to the News that the centre is teeing up a new training centre and a modernisation of its gymnastic facilities as part of the changes.

It previously hosted the Bob Torrance School of Golf in tribute to the legendary golfing coach of Largs.

With the construction of the new Largs Academy alongside the sports centre, the golf facilities have been in hiatus but are now in the process of being revamped to provide another string to the centre's bow.

The £12m centre opened three years ago to great acclaim and the boss feels the new works can take it to the next level.

Barry said: "The new golf training facility is set to open in the summer.

"The business plan is moving forward. There will be a driving range but we will very much focus on coaching and improving performance.

"It won't be a traditional driving range and we hope there will be five golf holes too.

"It will have an emphasis on being a training facility and improving your game.

"The gymnastics revamp is also exciting and basically it is moving things up to an Olympic standard, reflecting the modern needs of Scottish gymnastics."

With the gym membership now at 600, the sportscotland centre caters for many different activities across all age groups.

The top quality training facilities and gym have also attracted a number of Scottish Premiership football clubs including Hamilton, Hearts and St Johnstone.

Former Scotland boss Craig Brown was impressed with the new-look centre when he visited recently to as speaker at an sporting dinner.

Barry said the top flight clubs had been impressed by what they found on Largs shores.

He said: "Hamilton really enjoyed their time - in fact their manager is keen to come again and sees the value of what we have to offer. It is good for the town."

The facilities have also attracted the Scotland rugby team, who trained at Inverclyde in preparation for the last World Cup.

In the past, the SFA ran their coaching badge certificate courses out of Largs, bringing the likes of Jose Mourinho, Brendan Rodgers and Fabio Capello to the west coast.

Barry said: "As a national performance centre, the Scottish FA are still keen to focus their attention on Largs and we have a number of national squads coming including the under 15s and under 17s.

"We are also seeing amputee and powerchair football coming to Inverclyde regularly."