AN elderly action group has stepped in to fight cuts to swimming provision for youngsters on Cumbrae.

The Isle of Cumbrae Elderly Form is battling for cash that will go towards swimming lessons and travel to Largs swimming pool for local youngsters after the council pulled funding.

The local group says it feels that the younger generation are missing out on a valuable 'life skill' - and have acted to force a u-turn.

They have applied for money from council chiefs and say the lessons could save lives in the future.

A spokesperson said: "Funding will contribute to the provision of swimming lessons for children on the island.

"Isle of Cumbrae Elderly Forum is a very well embedded part of the community who support regular activities for the people on the island.

"Three years ago North Ayrshire Council removed funding from the local primary school. They approached the elderly forum for support to continue to provide swimming lessons for the island's children.

"Lessons are offered to primary fives at Cumbrae Primary yearly and are viewed as essential life skills for the island’s children, who have to travel to the mainland by ferry for their secondary education.

"The forum has funded swimming lessons at £400 per year for the past three years, and whilst we have funds in our account, these are ring-fenced for other projects and activities we are involved in.

"As a result, we are seeking funding to continue to support swimming lessons for the island’s children for the coming year.

"These swimming lessons are not for recreational purposes - they ensure that children will know how to swim in the event of an emergency."

The cost of the swimming lessons amount to £200 while travel to Largs makes up the second £200.

The forum have applied for a grant from the Nurturing Excellence in Communities Fund 2018/19.

The matter will be heard by councillors at an upcoming North Coast Locality Partnership meeting involving local councillors.