Irvine's iconic Pilot House is one step closer to a new lease of life, the Times can reveal.

Coastwatch will officially take ownership of the building by the end of October when the Asset Transfer from North Ayrshire Council is complete.

Plans to restore the historic building were given the green light by council bosses back in 2015.

North Ayrshire Council’ s Cabinet approved Coastwatch Scotland’s proposals to takeover the building and renovate it back to being fit for purpose.

Now the Irvine-based charity are closer than ever in their bid to transform the derelict tower into an observation platform and base to provide essential coast safety for visitors.

The plans are all par t of Coastwatch’ s plan to breathe new life in to the Harbourside area with their 25-year lease of the Pilot House.

The group also hopes to set up a visitor centre for school groups , youth clubs , fishing clubs , bird watchers and other or - ganisations .

Billy Lamb from Coastwatch told the Times: “It’s got a new roof and windows and had two coats of paint alread y and that’ s as far as we can g o without large amounts of money.

“It’ s also a listed building so there’ s not a lot we ca n do in terms of the actual structure of it.

“We still want to create a glass bubble on the top floor which would give us an observation deck which would work an d would not tak e away from the look of the original building.

“We would also lik e to put in a lift for disabled access so that the observation deck is accessible to everyone.

“There’ s plans for a hot food outlet at the back of the toilet block which would go a long wa y in providing revenue to sustain us.”

The group, made up entirely of volunteers, have alread y receive d funding for the purchase of RADAR, GPS and radios to help kickstar t a training programme for potential watchkeepers.

Coastwatch will also set up an RSPB wildlife observation and monitoring station.