A HUGE reservoir on the outskirts of Barrhead has been drained as part of early preparations for the creation of a new watersports park.

The draining of Balgray Reservoir had caused some speculation among locals, especially after similar work at a reservoir in Paisley sparked a police investigation.

However, Scottish Water has told the Barrhead News its activity at Balgray Reservoir has been entirely routine and is part of preparations for the establishment of a new wakeboarding park.

Lobbied as part of East Renfrewshire Council’s plans under the multi-million pound Glasgow City Region City Deal, Balgray Reservoir has long been in line to become a state-of-the-art sports hub.

It would include facilities for kayaks and canoes, changing areas, open water swimming and even a series of powered cables that would allow visitors to have a go at wakeboarding or water-skiing.

Cable wakeboarding uses an overhead cable to pull participants over the surface of the water. They are attached to a wakeboard, so it is similar to snowboarding, except on water.

Initial proposals stated that the centre would be for non-motorised sport, with no jet-skis or motorboats involved.

When the ambitious plans for Balgray Reservoir were announced back in 2015, council leader Tony Buchanan said he believed it would “bring tourists and jobs to the area, as well as providing excellent recreation facilities to the residents of Barrhead.”

A spokeswoman for Scottish Water confirmed that the current maintenance work was being carried out on the reservoir itself ahead of the creation of the wakeboarding site.

She added: “The water level at Balgray Reservoir has been lowered to enable routine maintenance to be carried out.”

Levels at the reservoir were partially lowered from February to April last year and kept at these levels over the summer before being lowered further towards the end of the year.

For East Renfrewshire’s input of £6million in the Glasgow City Region City Deal, it gets a return of £44m, setting up projects that include the waterpark, a rail halt for Barrhead South and a connecting road between Barrhead and the M77 motorway.

When Scottish Water drained Glenburn Reservoir, in Paisley, in November, they discovered five abandoned vehicles, prompting the launch of a police investigation.

However, workers at Balgray Reservoir said they haven’t found anything of significance at that site.