A KILBARCHAN author has been victorious in his campaign to establish a Renfrewshire Makar.

All five Scottish cities already have a Makar, who acts as an arts ambassador for the area.

And children’s author Jack Hastie has been campaigning for a poet laureate to be established in Renfrewshire.

Now his plans are being backed by Renfrewshire Council.

The move comes after Mr Hastie, who is a member of the Lochwinnoch Writers Group, approached local councillor Andy Doig.

Councillor Doig, the Independent member for Johnstone North, Kilbarchan, Howwood and Lochwinnoch, said: “The idea for a Renfrewshire Makar was mentioned to me a few months ago by Jack, who is a constituent of mine.

“I knew Jack when I was an active member of the Johnstone Writers Group and I spoke to Councillor Eileen McCartin and we agreed to champion his campaign.

“It has to be stressed that there is no shortage of potential candidates for the role of Renfrewshire Makar. We have talent in this area such as Caro Ramsay and Alex Gray, who are high priestesses of the tartan noir genre and recognised internationally.

“There are also more specialist authors such as Brian Hannah, who has published seminal books on Alfred Hitchcock.”

Renfrewshire’s Makar would be tasked with using poems to record major events, as well as encouraging people to explore poetry.

David Watt, chief executive of Arts and Business Scotland, which fosters relationships between business and the arts to create vibrant cultural communities, has offered to match fund local businesses wishing to back cultural projects.

Cllr Doig added: “I have written to Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron, suggesting that she explores his offer to get funding for the post of Renfrewshire Makar.”