GREENOCK’S Watt Institution has been shortlisted for a national architectural award following a £2.1 million refurbishment.

The Kelly Street building, incorporating the McLean Museum and Art Gallery, the Watt Library and the Watt Hall, is in the running for a prestigious honour from The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).

It is one of 18 buildings from across the country short-listed in the RIAS annual awards, having been selected from 80 entries.

Councillor Jim Clocherty, Inverclyde Council’s convener of education and communities, said: “To be shortlisted for such a prestigious honour from The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland is testament to the hard work of everyone involved, from our designers at Collective Architecture to council staff across a variety of departments.

“The council has invested a lot of time and money in not only preserving but greatly improving the Watt Institution to ensure future generations can continue to learn about the area’s rich history.

“The Watt Institution is a great opportunity to discover Inverclyde’s history and heritage and just a fortnight ago we welcomed visitors from Norway, who were impressed with the building and displays during a tour.”

The Greenock cultural complexwas rebranded the Watt Institution –- its original and legal name, which has been brought back into everyday use –- to coincide with the bicentenary of the death of Greenock-born inventor James Watt in 2019.

The museum re-opened in October last year following renovation.

Inverclyde Council funded the majority of the work with Historic Environment Scotland contributing £300,000.

Judging for the RIAS Awards 2020 will take place at the end of March. Winners will be announced at a ceremony in Edinburgh on 28 May.