A LOCAL councillor has issued a stark warning that the Cumbrae Watersports Centre site must be used for the 'good of the island' after the facility was put on the market.

The former national centre has been put up for sale by sportscotland after the Cumbrae Wave charity which was formed by the community to take it over failed to table a viable way to run it.

The facility is now marketed for offers over £550,000, with its four chalets comprising 28 bedrooms and main building which includes a dining hall, kitchen, classrooms and a gym.

SNP councillor Alan Hill, cabinet member for the island, hopes any new ownership will retain the centre as a watersports hub and continue employment at the site.

He said: “It was disappointing that, in spite of the huge effort by the committee, we weren’t able to make it the ownership plan work.

“Whoever buys the centre now would need planning consent to make any changes, but hopefully someone is looking to keep it for the same use.

“There are a still a few national charities in the leisure field so hopefully one of them can come forward and rescue it.

“There is a greater demand from schools and other organisations for these types of facilities than ever before, and I think the marine station is an example of how you can diversify to preserve and create employment.

“The council and all its officers are ready to work with anyone who can take the facility over for the benefit of the island.”

Harry Stott, of Galbraith who are handling the sale, believes there is a huge opportunity for someone to step in and take advantage of the site.

He said: “The property has an extensive principal building with a good range of facilities and a commercial kitchen, although some modernisation is required.

“There are four residential chalets each sleeping up to 12 people and the property is situated directly on the foreshore overlooking the mainland.

“The sale represents a significant opportunity to develop the property into a new tourism business, taking advantage of the growing interest in watersports and tranquil holiday destinations.”

The principal building includes a reception area, offices, commercial kitchen, dining hall, classrooms, lounge, gym, male and female changing rooms, toilets, a former wet suit store and drying room.

To the rear of the main building there is an attached seven-bedroom residential chalet with kitchen and lounge, shower and WC facilities that was formerly used as staff accommodation.

There are three further residential chalets, with the Sanda, Gigha and Ailsa chalets having seven bedrooms, each with en-suite shower rooms.

There are currently two leases in place at the property, allowing access to the foreshore and jetty.