The remarkable efforts to breathe new life into Millport Town Hall have received a major boost after North Ayrshire Council secured £509,000 grant funding to support the ongoing restoration of the building.

The Scottish Government has announced the grant funding which will allow the second phase of the landmark’s transformation to go ahead.

Councillor Alan Hill, Cabinet Member for Communities and Islands at North Ayrshire Council, said: “We are thrilled to have been successful in securing funding for a hugely important project which is close to everyone’s heart on Cumbrae. As local Elected Member for Cumbrae, I’d like to thank Council Officers for their hard work in preparing and submitting these bids.

“We have been working closely with the trustees at Millport Town Hall as part of the efforts to breathe new life into this historic and important landmark and the grant will make a world of difference to the effort. I’d like to pay special tribute to the efforts of the local Trustees who have done an amazing job to pull together this multi-million pound project.

“This project will make an important contribution to delivering on priority actions within the Arran and Cumbrae Local Island Plans, which have been developed alongside our island communities to support economic recovery and the longer-term sustainability of island life.”

Spearheaded by the trustees with support from North Ayrshire Council, the regeneration of the 144-year-old building can now move on to a critical and important phase of work which secures the building’s future.

The £509,000 funding for the next phase of the Millport Town Hall restoration will help fund the creation of office and community space, conservation centre, permanent men’s shed, and small community garden.

As part of the same rounding of funding – aimed at supporting islands-based projects relating to climate change, population retention and tourism – the Scottish Government also committed £540,000, supported by further funding of £60,000 from North Ayrshire Council, for the redevelopment of island toilet buildings on both Arran and Cumbrae into Visitor Pit Stops – eco-designed buildings with landscaped outdoors space that offer visitors sustainable and efficient amenities. Consultation and engagement will be undertaken with local communities, stakeholders, and Elected Members on Arran and Cumbrae to help shape the detailed development of the proposals.