IT is back to school for a Skelmorlie dad and local tradesman as he undertakes a special makeover project.

Malcolm Duncan is giving some of his graft to provide the primary school playground and gardens with a big boost.

With a bigger focus on outdoor learning, Malcolm, who is a former pupil at the school, realised there was an opportunity to spruce up the area.

Malcolm, who runs Maple Maintenance Services, told the News he is delighted to lend a hand to such a worthwhile cause.

He hopes the community will rally round to help in much the same way as people have to boost the Douglas Park revamp project in Largs.

The 37-year-old said: "I decided it would be good to give something back and so we have taken on an overhaul of Skelmorlie Primary's playground.

"We have made a promise to revamp bring the area around the school back to life for our children to enjoy.

"I was visiting earlier this year and the playground and garden area caught my eye as needing a bit of care. The climbing frame was taped off as it wasn't safe for the kids to use, while the path to the football pitch has never been completed. The outdoor classroom is now overgrown and the planting beds are also in need of some tender loving care."

Malcolm says he is hoping the project will become a real community effort and focal point.

He added: "We are looking forward to getting the pupils involved when it's safe to do so, however in the meantime we would appreciate volunteers or materials to help take it forward. If this something readers feel they can help with in any way, I'd ask them to get in touch with me."

The venture has proved a hit already, with Jewson's agreeing to provide some building materials free of charge and Maple Maintenance Services dedicating a day each month to concentrating solely on the school.

Malcolm, who has two sons, Murray, four, who is a pupil, and Fyfe, one, said that the project is a long term one and that the school is very supportive and grateful.

He added: "We had three of our men in on Monday and got all the flower beds sorted and power-washed. It is good to see that even after one day we are making strides.

"We hope to get the allotment area painted and cleared up next.

"It is a huge task to rebuild the playground but I am sure it will be manageable.

"It hasn't changed since I was at school and I thought why not try and make it something special for all the children to enjoy. I am sure if we can get more people involved we can really make it look good and something to be proud off for everyone at the primary school."