THE Friends of Millport Town Hall have been granted an belated Christmas present which could help secure the future of the building.

Funding has been secured by the Scottish Land Fund and the Architectural Heritage Fund to enable the group to undertake a feasibility study which will help determine if there can be a sustainable use for the building in the future.

Friends member Angie McCallum said: "This is a great belated Christmas present for the island.

"Our consultants will work with us on developing ideas already suggested and producing new ones that can be put forward.

"The aim is to repair and restructure the site to provide a multi-function facility capable of delivering an arts and culture hub, a community centre and a heritage and conservation centre.

"This feasibility study will open the door to major funding streams and if successful, there will be employment, skills training and volunteering opportunities for many people on the island.

Along with the money raised from the Cumbrae Lottery, they hope this will be enough to almost cover the cost of the study.

They expect there will still a shortfall which the group are hoping to plug with another fundraiser in February.

Angie added: “The residents are suffering from the lack of fit-for-purpose large community spaces which resulted in the Christmas pantomime and WW1 theatre production being cancelled.

“A community like ours needs - and deserves - a hall to bring it together.

“The ironic thing is our town hall already exists and the community is prepared to take it on."

The council had declared the building unfit for use two years ago, saying it had fallen into a state of disrepair.

The Friends of Millport Town Hall was formed in attempt to save the historic island building and have been looking at funding and future opportunities for the hall to secure its future.