PLANS to establish a new Business Improvement District for Largs are dead in the water.

A second BID will not be going ahead, as a new approach is sought to take the promotion of the town forward into the 2020s.

Following a detailed consultation involving businesses, local residents and key stakeholders, it was decided that 'the time was not right to proceed'.

After a vote five years ago involving local businesses, the first Largs BID was launched.

It saw over three hundred companies in the town pay an annual fee depending on the rateable value of their premises.

The scheme helped secure nationwide TV advertising, as well as bring a number of festival events to the town including food fayres and classic car events.

It was also heavily involved in the yuletide celebration at the end of the year but now key players believe it has run its course.

Cllr Alex Gallagher said: “The Explore Largs BID did an awful lot to position Largs as a must-visit seaside town.

"The events and festivals were a major success but with hindsight more could have been done for non-tourist businesses.

"We now have a great opportunity to think again.

"We have a detailed consultation report based on feedback from businesses, stakeholders and residents throughout the town.

"This gives us the chance to consider what people want to see, which will allow us to create a town team comprising the council, key stakeholders, local businesses and community groups to discuss what sort of model would work best for Largs.

"Scotland's Towns Partnership will continue to support our efforts and we hope that in due course a new programme will be developed to promote and improve Largs."

A meeting of local businesses at the Yacht Haven last week heard that hat the BID's promotion brand 'Explore Largs' will now be wound up and final accounts and a statement will be issued in due course.

Any remaining funds will be transferred back to the council who will discuss with levy payers how best to deploy these resources in the short term.

But Cllr Ian Murdoch, who is vice chair of Largs Events, believes leftover cash must be used to fund future events that showcase the town.

He said: "At the meeting there was a sum of money mentioned that was left from the BID levy.

"This balance I believe is around £20,000 and my suggestion is that this money should go to the Largs Events group and they can look at promoting events in the summer of 2019.

"The BID statute states that if the BID comes to an end that any balance of money either gets divided between the businesses, or it goes to an organisation with a similar aim and my plea would be that the Largs Events group should apply to have that money to continue to organise events for the town.

"I have approached several businesses in the last few days, some of which were extremely strong opponents of BID, and the ones that I have approached so far agree that the money should go to Largs Events to continue in this direction.

"One of the reasons I am so keen in promoting Largs Events approach is it is open to anyone to join, it is in the public domain, and the accounts can be inspected at any time. It is not a closed shop, it is open book and open for the public and businesses to join."

He added: "I think we now need to look at a fresh and different approach.

"I think that Largs needs something to bring business and local community together."