A local councillor has welcomed a new tourist plan for two country parks in Renfrewshire.

The development of a Strategic Tourism Infrastructure Development Plan for Castle Semple and Muirshiel Country Parks was discussed at the latest meeting of the economy and regeneration policy board.

Councillor Andy Doig, who represents Lochwinnoch, said he was "delighted at the scope and breadth" of the proposals outlined at the meeting.

He told The Gazette: "The wide-ranging consultation plan has come up with new strategic tourism objectives for both sites including new toilet and changing facilities, and upgraded trails in the short term, and major upgrades to both visitor centres in the long term.

"Clyde Muirshiel and Castle Semple have long been the jewel in the crown of Renfrewshire’s visitor attractions, and statistics in the paper show that the two facilities, including RSPB Lochwinnoch, get around half a million visitors per year from across the central belt. 

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"Between 2019 and 2022, Castle Semple alone has seen an increase of 13% in visitor numbers, which is great."

Mr Doig said the consultation exercise showed the report was "definitely correct" to prioritise new toilet and changing facilities.

He added: "The present ones have served us well but are looking tired now and in need of new investment, and the visitors would expect no less in future.

"I am also pleased that the Board accepted an additional amendment from myself to embed greater links between a rejuvenated Clyde Muirshiel and Castle Semple and the local village businesses in Lochwinnoch, Howwood, and Kilbarchan. 

"Traditionally this has tended not to happen but I think we need a more integrated and holistic vision of the economic benefits of such a strategy."