PLANS to open an educational centre for “troubled kids” outside a nursery are causing mixed feelings in the Erskine community.

Crossreach social care agency, which is part of the Church of Scotland, wants to open a unit catering for youngsters aged eight to 18 who have additional support needs.

The unit would support vulnerable children as an alternative to mainstream education.

Many of the young people supported by Crossreach have led tragic and difficult lives, facing issues such as abuse, drug and alcohol dependency and domestic violence, either directly or indirectly.

If plans for the Erskine facility go ahead, portable cabins will be erected in Kilpatrick Drive, next to Pandamonium Play Centre, which also houses Little Panda’s Nursery.

And some residents fear that kids from “troubled backgrounds” are likely to cause unrest in the area.

Erskine woman Barbara Campbell said: “Personally, I feel that the land could have a better use, such as more business units, as there are not enough in Erskine.

“We already have the The Good Shepherd Centre in Bishopton for troubled girls. Why have they chosen Erskine for this new facility?”

However, others have welcomed the plans.

Angela Hislop, also from Erskine, said: “I for one have no issues with the new educational centre being built."

Sheila Gordon, director of children and family services for Crossreach, said the aim is to "provide a supporting and caring home and educational environment where children can feel safe, develop trusting relationships with adults and be included within the wider community."

She added: “We have worked closely with both Community Action for Erskine and staff from Renfrewshire Estates and Planning Department.

“We are excited about building on our existing good relationships with the local community in the event planning permission is granted.”