CHRISTMAS on Cumbrae has turned bleak for many islanders with the shock news that the Marine Biological Station is to close next year.

In a cruel sense of timing the University of London announced to assembled staff at the Cumbrae station on Monday morning that the long-established facility would be shut down in 2013.

Councillor Alan Hill said: "It's an unmitigated disaster if it goes ahead and it's devastating news for local people before Christmas."

A Facebook campaign is already underway and has already received 2000 followers from all over the world... -- Full story in this week's Largs and Millport News.