REPAIRS to Millport Pier will be completed next week - after almost three months of delays.

Work to repair the masonry section of the structure began in April this year and was due to last only eight weeks.

Council chiefs told the News that poor weather conditions have continued to delay the completion of the project, with workers struggling to complete it within the agreed timeframe.

Fears that the annual fireworks display - set off from the pier - would need to be rearranged have also been allayed.

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: "Delays to the Millport Pier works are due to recent bad weather, with high winds causing damage to the steel shutters used for the concreting.

"This has since been resolved and works are expected to be completed next week, weather permitting."

Repairs have included the installation of new sections of the metal staircase to improve access, concrete infill repairs to several voided sections underwater and new reinforced concrete strengthening to further protect the structure from sea water.

Chair of Cumbrae Tourist Association and owner of the Royal George, Margaret Kennedy, said the island's tourism industry will benefit from the end result.

She added: "I know the workers have been working longer hours and extra days in an attempt to get the job done while the weather has been good.

"The machinery is limited to what it can do on windy days.

"The council has kept us in the loop and hopefully all being well it will be finished soon and not be dragged out until Christmas.

"We discussed with them about plans for the September weekend as we normally set the fireworks off at that section of the pier.

"They have assured us that we will still be able to go ahead with our plans for this."

An inspection and dive survey of the masonry elements of the pier was carried out last year and discovered a number of defects which needed to be addressed to ensure the pier remained safe.

The council spokesperson added:"Particular areas of concern were undercutting and voids in the masonry pier and defects to the sheet piles.

"In addition, the steel access stairs at the timber pier was in poor condition, with only the top two landings operational and the lower landing currently closed.

"The completion of these works will ensure the masonry pier is fit for purpose for many years to come."

The campaign to save the wooden section of the pier remains ongoing, with the Save Millport Pier pressure group still hoping the structure will be central to any kind of development within the proposed marina.