Work on a £2.7million project to transform derelict Barrhead land into an attractive green space is underway.

The ambitious blueprint for Carlibar Park also involves re-engineering the Levern Water to reduce the risk of flooding.

Waste ground at Walton Street, near Barrhead town centre, has been empty for decades but the transformation will see riverside paths being created for walking and cycling.

There will also be revamped areas to support biodiversity, while landscaping aims to "recapture the natural beauty of the river and the surrounding park."

Modifications to the weir on the Levern Water will reintroduce a more natural river channel and wider areas for overflow.

Led by East Renfrewshire Council, the project is being funded through a £1.6m investment from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and £1.1m from the Scottish Government.

Council leader Owen O'Donnell said: “I’m delighted that this project has been made possible thanks to our funding partners.

"It provides the long-awaited opportunity to transform this derelict site within Carlibar Park and reduce our flooding risk in the area.

"Carlibar Primary School have been involved in surveying the river wildlife and will help monitor the health of the river once the works are complete.

"Local residents will be able to enjoy an attractive riverside green space, close to the shops and amenities in Barrhead town centre.”

Lucie Stewart, restoration specialist at SEPA, added: “We are excited to get started on this project and to bring about real transformation for the area.

"By working closely with East Renfrewshire Council, through the Water Environment Fund (WEF), we aim to improve the Levern Water and return it to a more natural river channel.

"This will not only benefit the local community and help mitigate flooding but it will also bring back migratory fish such as sea trout and eel.”

Work at the one-hectare site is being carried out by contractors AmcoGiffen Ltd.

A spokesperson said: "We look forward to providing the residents of Barrhead and the wider community with an aesthetic public realm area that future generations will utilise.

"We will engage with the local supply chain to foster growth in the East Renfrewshire economy and will also create jobs for the community directly during the works.

"We are very keen to demonstrate the social value for this scheme to East Renfrewshire and will be engaging with several local organisations and charities with a view to them benefitting both during construction and after the project is completed.”

The river channel works are expected to be finished by the end of September, with the rest of the project due to be completed by next summer.

Existing footpaths will remain open for the majority of the time, with signs in place when any diversions are needed for construction activity.