A NEW Men's Shed in Largs could help to repair local landmarks - as well as boost men's mental health.

The project to boost the confidence and combat loneliness among older gents is being pushed by independent councillor Ian Murdoch.

Councillor Murdoch, who also has a portfolio for mental health on the Locality Planning Partnership, says 20 men have expressed an interest in forming a group in Largs after the idea was floated a few months back.

Men’s Sheds have been popping up all over the country and have been hailed as a way to hone DIY skills, make social connections and build new friendships.

The sheds also get involved in community projects such as restoring local landmarks and helping maintain parks and green spaces.

There are already successfully operating in North Ayrshire and Councillor Murdoch is now hopeful that the project will have enough support to get off the ground locally.

He recently addressed the North Coast Locality Partnership meeting, including elected councillors and local community councillors, to discuss the plan.

Councillor Murdoch said: "There are a couple of possible locations that can be explored as a permanent home for a Men's Shed.

"It is great news that people are wanting to take part and establish this, I have hopes that the Men's Shed will be a repair shop to support the whole town.

"We were working on the footprint of Douglas Park's former aviary but that might not be big enough. Another potential option we are looking at is the Brisbane Centre in Largs.

"I have just returned from the Men's Shed in Kilbirnie and it is magnificent - they have offered us any help we need in getting started.

"The guys there have a number of rooms, including a model-making section which I think would be popular here.

"It could be used for all sorts, from metalwork and woodwork to repairing bikes and household items.

"We are looking to form a committee and hope to move on with this as quickly as possible."

The Largs councillor has already been in talks with the chairman of the Men's Shed Federation in Scotland David Gardner, who is also backing the project.

He added: "It ticks a lot of boxes and should be eligible for North Ayrshire community investment funding (CIF)."

The CIF fund supports proposals and projects that tackle inequalities in North Ayrshire such as financial deprivation, poorer health outcomes or reduced employability.

Anyone that is interested in starting a Men's Shed in Largs, please call 07944 722027, or email ianmurdoch@north-ayrshire.gov.uk