CUMBRAE could enjoy a £3million boost to the local economy - if plans for a 'game-changing' marina go ahead.

Plans to make Cumbrae a key marine tourism destination could bring 'huge benefits' according to a local development chief.

A new report says that the 58 berths created in year one of the six-year project could generate £300,000, and with its expansion accumulate to £3 million.

The development is part of the Ayrshire Growth Deal and would bring five full time equivalent jobs for the marina and boat yard, an additional four local jobs and seven others regionally.

Locals have already attended a consultation meeting in February where they expressed their desire to have a working pier which could berth the Waverly, as well as commercial and local boats.

Cumbrae Community Development CEO Michael Bertram, pictured, said: "From our perspective this is a big game changer. Wen we started some years back we wanted the council to look at the wider picture and the economic potential if they got tourism people involved.

"We have moved a long way from where we where three years ago with the council being parental in how they dealt with us but now they are now listening and working with us.

"People have recognised if we could build a marina within the breakwaters provided by the flood prevention scheme, that it could be an economic driver for the island.

"We are looking at a 180 berth marina as the ultimate aim and a large pontoon, delivered over three phases.

"It would be great to be able to look out and see a marina."

The development will coincide with the Flood Prevention Scheme which will see a 120m rock armour breakwater constructed between The Leug and The Spoig islands and a 210m rock armour breakwater between The Spoig and the southern Eilean.

This would also include onshore flood walls and drainage improvements to minimise residual flood risks.

The Scottish Government confirmed that the 'grant only covers costs directly associated with flood protection works' and would therefore not cover the regeneration of the timber pier.

However the works carried out by the flood prevention scheme would enable plans to be made for the future development of the harbour as a separate project through the Ayrshire Growth Deal.

Using data from similar studies the council have suggested there could be between 1,800 and 3,000 overnight and day boat visit a year.

The plan is that by phasing the marina it can grow organically, only expanding as the market demands.

As part of the Making Waves in North Ayrshire Tourism action plan, the council is now seeking further consultation on the proposed development.