AN innovative £30,000 project could see shipping containers and used to host community, youth and business events.

Reverend Jonathan Fleming is hoping to build on the success of the £1m new Cumbrae Parish Church by extending its uses and accessibility within the community.

He wants to install the metal tanks, which have used successfully to house 'pop-up' businesses in high streets and shopping centres, and open them up to the island.

He explained: "Since opening the new church in January, we have realised that there are certain limitations at present.

"We have a youth drop-in centre in College Street but there remains a lack of facilities for young people on the island and we are aware that there are growing number of people who are growing socially isolated, particularly young men."

Rev Fleming is hoping that the new containers could provide a free and open spaces for locals to come together.

He said: "There is a varied skill set on the island, and there are people with joinery, electrical, carpentry and woodwork backgrounds, and we could look at creating a space for them to utilise.

"The containers are certainly becoming more familiar now - there is even one outside Braehead Shopping Centre with a barber's shop inside it.

"They are also becoming more popular at community gardens. We want something on site relatively quickly and at very low cost.

"The idea would be to timber clad it to blend in with the surroundings at the back of the church and add a sloped roof to provide extra protection from the elements."

The whole overall project is priced at around £30,000 and the containers would be fitted with electrical heaters to provide warmth in the colder months.

Rev Fleming added: "I am looking at opportunities to apply for funding. We are looking at around three containers within the church grounds to fill the space at the back of the building."

The church building itself continues to be busy with church services, Messy Church for young families on the island and is even hosting a North Ayrshire Council meeting this month involving council chiefs and local councils and community councils from around the district.

The church has also linked up with the neighbouring Cumbrae Primary and local groups on the island to establish an eco-friendly sustainable garden.

A total of 135 trees have been planted in the grounds in tandem with the Cumbrae Beecology environmental group.

A spokesman for the Church of Scotland said: “The church is continually reforming and seeking to grow by engaging with the communities it serves in fresh, imaginative ways.

“A lot of people have fixed ideas about the church being stuck in the past but they should think again because it is no longer just about an hour on a Sunday morning.

“Across the country, many traditional buildings have been revamped or replaced to great effect to create open, versatile and flexible spaces where people want to be.”