Renfrewshire councillors are supporting an ice hockey club that aims to take over the running of Braehead Arena.

Glasgow Clan want to become the new operating company of the Renfrew venue and have entered into talks with Global Mutual, who became owners of Braehead Shopping Centre after the collapse of Intu in November.

But as no agreement has yet been reached, the club has had to put its plans for the 2021/22 campaign, including the appointment of a new head coach, player recruitment and season ticket sales, on hold.

A petition calling for Global Mutual to hand over control to the club has attracted more than 8,000 signatures.

Now elected members in Renfrewshire have rallied round the Clan by backing the bid to take over the arena, which also plays host to the Paisley Pirates and junior team the Braehead Peewees.

At a meeting on Thursday, a motion from Councillor John Shaw and Councillor Eddie Devine backing the club’s bid was passed unanimously.

Sandra Black, the council’s chief executive, will now write to Global Mutual to ask the firm to “expedite a decision in favour of the Clan.”

A successful takeover by the Clan would ensure the arena continues to function as an ice rink.

The Elite Ice Hockey League has announced its plans to return to action, with the new season set to start in September.

But Councillor Shaw said it is uncertain the Clan will be able to compete in that league unless an agreement is reached.

He added: “Just the other day, the Elite Ice Hockey League announced the resumption of their league but, unfortunately, they are unsure whether it will be nine or 10 teams.

“Glasgow Clan should be that 10th team. The Clan tell me their appointment as operating company would not only secure their future for the long-term in Renfrewshire but would also be a game-changer for the team, allowing them to progress plans to become one of the UK’s premier professional ice hockey clubs, competing for major silverware every season at home and, hopefully, on the European stage.

“Let’s make this happen.”

In a statement released earlier this month, Clan chiefs said they “strongly believe” the club is the best option to make a success of Braehead’s ice venue.

A spokesperson added: “With a long-term commitment to maintaining and growing ice sports at Braehead Arena, in addition to our ambitious infrastructure plans for the venue, we are extremely excited at the prospect of being able to further expand opportunities for all current and new ice user groups.”