FORMER residents of a school for troubled boys are being encouraged to speak up about any child abuse they experienced.

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry has covered a range of care providers, including religious and voluntary organisations, since it began hearing evidence in 2017.

Now its investigation is being opened up to include another 10 establishments, including the old Thornly Park School.

Based at a site on the border of Paisley and Barrhead, it opened in 1910 and provided care for children over several decades.

Also known as the Paisley Industrial School for Boys, it became an ‘approved school’ in the 1930s, with young residents being taught skills such as woodwork and gardening.

After the majority of the old school buildings were demolished, the site was used as accommodation for students at the University of the West of Scotland.

Lady Smith, chair of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, has urged anyone who has any relevant information about Thornly Park School to get in touch.

She said: “We want to hear from you regardless of whether you have already made a report to the police or to anyone else.

“It does not matter whether or not you have been involved in any other investigation. You can still talk to us.”

The inquiry into historic child abuse has already heard evidence from victims who were physically, emotionally and sexually assaulted during their time at Quarriers Village, in Bridge of Weir.

Lady Smith added: “I know that it can be difficult and very emotional to talk about experiences in care.

“However, we have a highly-experienced witness support team and they will help and support you throughout the process. We’ll do all we can to help you feel safe and secure when you speak to us.”

Anyone who would like to contact the inquiry should call the freephone number on 0800 0929 300.

Read all the latest from Barrhead and beyond