New advertising billboards are to be placed next to Bowen Craig football pitch and the Vikingar to help promote community events and Barrfields Theatre shows.

The move is being carried out by North Ayrshire Council in response to concerns over the increase in advertising signage going up in street railings around the town along the busy A78.

Street railings at the bottom of the Haylie Brae, the Gogo Bridge, and outside Costa Coffee are regularly used to promote local shows and events in the area.

However, the move to erect the new billboard areas is an attempt to eliminate that as it is something that has generally been frowned upon in the past by roads authorities.

It is hoped that the new designated areas will help remove the clutter with two specific billboard points.

Barrfields Users Group have been pushing for improved promotion facilities to help provide wider interest in their shows.

The matter was highlighted at the recent Largs Community Council meeting.

Planning sub committee chair Jim Perman said: "North Ayrshire Council have applied for consent to stick billboards up outside Vikingar and the pitches at Bowen Craig which are 1.2m high and 4m long and made out of wood to hang adverts on."

Clr Hill said: "It is for advertising general events happening in the Largs area. It is specifically to provide space in town for events so that they can be advertised in advance

"It is an experiment and if it is successful it will be rolled out around other council areas.

"It is to prevent hanging banners on bridges and street barriers which has been common practice in recent years.

"The plan is if they set up these billboards and people get used to looking out for it there, there will be no need for the banners on bridges and elsewhere."

Cllr Murdoch stated that it was for community events and not for commercial.

Barrfields volunteer Patricia Perman said she believed more needed to be done to help promote local shows, while councillor Alan Hill said that there is a 'brilliant' comedy club at Barrfields which visits every few months.

Mrs Perman, who is a member of the Barrfields Users Group, said that the comedy club attracted around 100 people but believed it could attract a lot more. She said: "There are great things taking place but people don't know these shows are on."

Transport Scotland have endorsed the billboard sign at the Vikingar.

However, in relation to the Bowen Craig plan, Transport Scotland have asked for more time regarding consultation, and asked that the sign be shifted as it may prove too distracting.

A spokesman said: "Transport Scotland has concerns regarding distraction at a point where weaving traffic occurs (for the right turn lane) and pedestrian cross the road (for the bus stop) and would request that consideration is given to the possibility of moving this sign to a position near the north end of the playing field."