A VANDALISM blackhole has finally been transformed into an attractive beauty spot thanks to the efforts of a local community.

In recent years, the Beith Road underpass connecting Corseford and Spateston of Johnstone had become a no-go area for local people.

The walls had become a magnet for graffiti while gangs of teenagers gathered there for late night drinking sessions and leaving smashed glass bottles.

A campaign was launched in October 2019 by Corseford Tenants and Residents Association (CARA) to raise the thousands of pounds necessary to give the underpass a much needed makeover.

They also persuaded local artist Lauren Anderson to decorate the underground walkway. She used murals from designs supplied by pupils from the local Fordbank and St Anthony’s primary schools.

The two-year project was finally completed on Friday when the approaches to the underpass and railings were given a final lick of paint by volunteers, with Lauren finishing off the last of her murals.

The £9,000 cost of the project was paid for thanks to donations from local firms, including Johnstone TOA Taxis, Renfrewshire Council and the Arnold Clark Community Fund.

CARA also linked up with environment campaigners Action Earth, who donated £500, and the Renfrewshire Autism Project, a local group for autistic adults who helped out with the renovations.

Flowers, bulbs and shrubs have also been planted on the approaches to the underpass to improve the appearance and encourage wildlife.

CARA secretary George MacDonald paid tribute to the scores of local people who gave up their time and money to see the project come to fruition.

He said: “The residents of Corseford are delighted the area has been given the spruce up it desperately needed.

“It’s been fantastic to see the local community coming together and volunteering to take part in the improvements.

“The underpass had long been an eyesore and the work was necessary.

“Not only does it look better but people, particularly children, now feel safer using it.”

George says the group will continue to make improvements to the underpass area and work to make sure the area remains vandal free.

He added: “We certainly won’t be resting on our laurels and there will be an ongoing repair and maintenance programme.”

Former Johnstone High pupil Lauren, who studied at Glasgow School of Art, came up with the idea for the underwater and woodland themed mural at the underpass in 2019.