THE long-awaited M&S Foodhall in Largs has moved a small step closer after the company applied for a licence to sell alcohol at the site.

Marks and Spencer's new unit on Main Street is currently scheduled to open early next year as part of a £30 million investment in five new and expanded stores across the UK.

The retail giant has now applied to North Ayrshire Council for an off-sales licence allowing it to sell alcohol at the premises on Main Street at Townhead Close.

The deadline for objections to the application, which was lodged with local authority bosses in April this year, closed last week.

READ MORE: M&S provide update on opening plans for new Largs foodhall

Members of the North Ayrshire licensing board are expected to meet in June to discuss the application and make a decision.

As previously reported, it was originally hoped that the Largs store, on the site of the former Pearsons garage, would be opening towards the end of 2023.

But last summer that date was pushed back to the spring of 2024, and in January the company announced a revised opening date of early 2025.

The development is expected to result in the creation of around 50 new jobs.