A SCOTTISH council is to spend thousands of pounds removing a controversial coat of arms from notable sites in its area.

Officers on Inverclyde Council have considered the logistics of removing or covering the existing emblem, featuring a figure widely considered to be an enslaved man, from display at various locations in Gourock.

The exercise was carried out after it was agreed at the education and communities committee in January to remove the burgh coat of arms from council-owned or controlled properties “where practicable”.

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A programme of works has now been agreed, which will see the figure taken away and fascia blanked at Gourock Municipal Buildings, as well as forms of removal at the provost’s lamp post, Gamble Halls, pavilion and Dardanelles Memorial Window.

However, there will be no changes to the town’s war memorial, where there is no figure on the crest.

The possibility of a new coat of arms for the Gourock area will be investigated.

A paper to Tuesday’s committee confirmed a total cost of £7145 for the works.

According to an appendix to the report, the emblem was granted in 1954 and is made up of arms from the Stewart and Darroch families.

The latter were businessmen with estates in the West Indies, who bought the estate of Gourock from the Stewarts in 1784.

The Darroch arms date from 1794 and part of the crest depicts a man holding a dagger.

The appendix added: “As part of the process of Inverclyde examining its historic links to the trade in enslaved peoples, the arms, with its depiction of what many see as an enslaved person, was identified by the public as a key issue to be addressed.

“Following public consultation with the people of Gourock and those within our communities with lived experience of racism, it was decided that it was no longer appropriate to represent our inclusive communities with a coat of arms that includes a figure that to many is a visual embodiment of the horrors of enslavement.”