Pupils at Kilwinning Academy have launched a Credit Union, providing savings and loan facilities to the local community.

The scheme is part of the Innovative Schools Project – a partnership between Developing Young Workforce (DYW) Ayrshire and The Prince’s Trust Scotland.

It encourages school students to get involved in innovative activities which will help them develop employability skills.

The venture was conceived as a response to the closure of high street banks and will allow 1st Alliance Ayrshire Credit Union to have a facility within the school for pupils, their families and local residents to use.

DYW’s Claire Baird and Morgan Middlemass and Walter Smith, of The Princes Trust, joined pupils, council officials and 1st Alliance Ayrshire to officially open the school’s new Access Points.

The students will work alongside 1st Alliance to develop their employability skills, financial knowledge and develop community links.

Walter Smith, chairman of Prince’s Trust Ayrshire, said: “We are proud to be associated with this extremely innovative project.”

DYW Ayrshire project executive, Claire Baird, added: “We are absolutely delighted to support this first of its kind school project and are very impressed by the way it has been implemented.”