A LARGS publican has employed a new legal team as he ramps up his fight for a late licence after a fresh blow to his bid to extend last orders.

Brian Purdie told the News he has taken on a new lawyer with the hope of overturning the decision to ban live music past 11pm at The Waterside in Bath Street on Fridays and Saturdays.

The move comes after his application to host late night music during the Largs Live festival was turned down by the North Ayrshire Licensing Committee.

The landlord has already spent £25,000 sound-proofing his bar to make it compliant with strict noise regulations and says he now stands to lose £50,000 each year after his ability to host acts until 12.30am was removed.

One local who lives nearby however claimed the late music nights and customers behaviour outside the bar into the early hours was impacting the area.

Police Scotland told the News they had received no complaints following the review of the bar's licence last November.

Brian says he now intends to step up his fight to have his late licence reinstated.

He told the News: "We intend to fight the decision. All we were applying for was five hours during Largs Live across the weekend and we got knocked down, but no reason was given for the refusal. I am baffled.

"I have new lawyer on board who is from the local area and I am hopeful that we can have this overturned.

"The police told the last meeting that they had no issues going back to last November so I can't really see what the problem is?

"I am losing too much money. On Friday and Saturday evenings we still have people coming to the bar expecting live music, only to find it has finished.

"The customers keep asking me when we are getting 'back to normal' and I just can't answer them.

"I am now paying additional legal fees but I feel I have got no choice. I think we should be given at least a trial run to show any concerns are not valid or have been addressed - I would even invite the board to come along and see for themselves."

Brian has owned The Waterside for ten years and turned it into one of the most popular live music venues in Ayrshire.

The pub is famed for its live bands, karaoke and monthly Sunday Scottish folk music sessions.

Brian warned: "If we don't get our late licence back, I don't know how long the business is sustainable."