An investigation has been launched after firebugs targeted a multi-million pound renovation project in Barrhead.

Matting used to protect new flowerbeds in Carlibar Park was set alight on two separate occasions this month, causing widespread damage.

The vandalism has led to an expensive repair bill and will also mean completion of the project will be delayed.

Barrhead News: The vandalism in Carlibar ParkThe vandalism in Carlibar Park (Image: Newsquest)

Police are investigating two fireraising incidents which took place at night on Tuesday, April 4, and Monday, April 10.

Officers have been studying footage from CCTV cameras in the area as part of their investigation.

The targeted area is in Walton Street, where work has been taking place to transform a derelict two-and-a-half acre site by creating riverside paths for walking and cycling.

The cost of repairing the damage could run to several thousands of pounds.

A spokesperson for East Renfrewshire Council told the Barrhead News: "We were extremely disappointed to see this mindless vandalism in Carlibar Park.

"Around £2.6million has been invested by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and the Scottish Government on improvements to the river and park areas and now further public money will have to spent on repairs, which will delay its completion.

"The project is aimed at creating a safe, pleasant green space in the heart of Barrhead, as well as improving the river for local wildlife, so incidents like this are massively frustrating.

"The vandalism has been reported to Police Scotland."

Plans for the park were made public last July and work was due to be completed this summer but that date will now have to be put back.

The renovation also includes modifications to the Levern Water to reduce the risk of flooding and bring back fish such as sea trout and eel.

Pupils at Carlibar Primary School have been involved in surveying the river wildlife and will help to monitor the health of the ecosystem there once the work has been completed.

It is also hoped the renovation will give a boost to the local economy by attracting more people into Barrhead town centre.

Anyone who has information about the vandalism at Carlibar Park is asked to call the police on 101.