THE success of a unique open water swimming session under the Millport September weekend fireworks could lead to a new annual event in support of the Cumbrae Wave.

The night swim in Millport bay, organised by Openswim, saw more than 30 residents and visitors take the plunge under the light of the spectacular aerial show.

The event was organised in support of the Cumbrae Wave, which is bidding to save the former Cumbrae Watersports Centre.

Councillor Alan Hill, who heads the Wave steering group, says the swim started as a conversation that quickly took off.

He explained: “A member of our steering group got chatting with the team at Openswim, who run events throughout the UK.

“They were recently involved in a huge event across the English Channel and are really good at what they do.

“They were really keen to try and support what we are looking to do, and out of that conversation came the idea of having a nigh swim during the September fireworks.

“It kind of took off from there and we had around 30 people take part, with some coming over to the island especially for it."

Alan believes it could now become an annual event - although in slightly warmer temperatures.

He said: “Everyone who turned up seemed to have a great time and enjoyed themselves.

“We are hoping to do it each year moving forward, but perhaps in the summer rather than the September weekend so it's a bit warmer.

“Open water swimming is a big trend at the moment, and it is something we are hoping to feature at the Cumbrae Wave as part of the future redevelopment.

“It was great to raise awareness of our project to save the watersports centre while also adding to the weekend’s festivities.”

The Cumbrae Wave project is progressing at pace with a part-time employee set to join the volunteers in the fight to rescue the centre for community use.

Alan added: “We’ve managed to secure funding from North Ayrshire Ventures Trust to allow us to hire a project manager who can work with us and chase funding.

“We have got a shortlist pulled together, but we are extending the deadline for a couple of weeks to see if anyone else would like to apply.

“The next stage for us is to create a more in-depth feasibility study, which would involve wider consultation with islanders.

“We’ve had great support from the community so far, and we will hopefully get things moving further along pretty soon with the arrival of this new role.”

For more information on the Cumbrae Wave and the new role, find them on Facebook.