NORWEGIAN officials are planning to visit Neilston to mark the 75th anniversary of the arrival of more than 500 refugees from their country.

The civilian refugees from the Island of Soroya were evacuated in February 1945, during the Second World War, by the Norwegian Military Services and the British Royal Navy.

They arrived at Greenock before being taken to Neilston Camp, where they stayed until September that year.

Eva Danielson Husby, the mayor of Hasvik, a Norwegian municipality, contacted East Renfrewshire Council in December to say senior dignitaries and officials would be coming to Scotland in March this year.

Their upcoming visit will include a trip to the site of the camp and a local graveyard, where a few former members of their community are buried.

A report to councillors states: “The purpose of the visit is to pay homage and express gratitude, on behalf of the Municipality of Hasvik, for the operation and the reception provided to the refugees, including by the people of Neilston and those in the wider East Renfrewshire area.”

East Renfrewshire’s civic hospitality committee will meet today to decide whether to cover the costs of transport, afternoon tea and a dinner at the Dalmeny Park Hotel, Barrhead.

Afternoon tea, at a venue yet to be decided, and the dinner would cost around £830, while transport costs haven’t been confirmed.

The council would also pay for civic gifts.

The mayor of Hasvik has issued an invitation to local councillors to take part in their visit.

If the hospitality committee approve the suggested events, the council’s chief executive, representatives of the Merchant Navy and Neilston War Memorial Association, a local historian and some local residents would be invited.

Provost Jim Fletcher and all councillors for the Newton Mearns North and Neilston ward could also attend.

During the afternoon tea, a film would be screened.

The budget for civic hospitality for 2019/20 is £18,000, with just under £11,000 remaining.