AN islands councillor is pushing for more finance to be invested in the Isle of Cumbrae from a Crown Estates fund.

Coastal communities around Scotland will be given over £7m this year but North Ayrshire will receive a paltry £88,000, which will be distributed to a flood defence scheme on the Isle of Arran.

Cllr Tom Marshall informed Cumbrae Community Council that he is in talks with the local authority about pressing its case for further investment from the fund to help benefit locals.

He said: "I welcome the opportunity for coastal communities in Scotland to benefit from the money raised by Crown Estates from mooring fees and fish farms.

"I am however a bit disappointed that the first £88,000 is to be allocated to Arran and will be pushing that in future years such funding has made available to use it communities in my ward, particularly on Cumbrae which is an island in need of significant investment.”

Government bosses say a new funding scheme will replace the Coastal Communities Fund in Scotland and allow a more even spread.

Adam Cox, Marine Planning officer for the Scottish Government, said: "There is an expectation that local authorities will use the money for coastal benefit such as support for local projects or initiatives, but the new arrangements differ from the coastal communities fund, which was a competitive scheme.

"Ultimately it will be for each coastal local authority to decide how they utilise the money as long as the use is for coastal community benefit.

"The Scottish Government is working with Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) to ensure that proportionate monitoring arrangements can be put in place."

A total of 26 local authorities will receive an allocation from the net revenue of the Scottish Crown Estate based on each council’s share of the adjacent sea area.

Land Reform Secretary Roseanna Cunningham MSP said: “I believe strongly in maximising the benefits of the Scottish Crown Estate and the allocation of £7.5 million to coastal communities the length and breadth of Scotland is the latest step in achieving this.

“The new funding arrangement will see coastal communities receive 100 per cent of revenue generated from the Crown Estate’s marine assets out to 12 nautical miles around Scotland, enabling them to better fund and support local projects and initiatives.

“This government is delivering on our commitment to bring financial benefits to communities from the Scottish Crown Estate marine assets and enabling more decisions to be taken at the local level.

"I look forward to seeing how councils use this exciting opportunity to benefit to their coastal communities.”

The allocation of £7.5 million being made in 2019/20 for coastal community benefit in Scotland is higher than the funding that was previously available under the old Coastal Communities Fund (CCF).