Irvine beach has won a Keep Scotland Beautiful award – thanks to the town’s dedicated band of litter-picking volunteers.

Irvine Clean Up Crew have now succeeded in securing a 2019 Beach Award status for the town’s front shore from the Keep Scotland Beautiful charity.

The accolade recognises the high standards provided across the country to beach users and it is the first time the beach has won the award since 2009.

With the Scottish bathing season already having kicked off, the annual Scottish Beach Awards recognise the best beaches across the country and act as the benchmark for local environmental quality all along Scotland’s coastline.

It was one of just two beaches in North Ayrshire to be recognised, the other being Newton Beach in Cumbrae.

Sandra Cuthbertson Hughes, Chair and Co-Founder, Irvine Clean Up Crew, added: “We are delighted that the stunning natural beauty and excellent facilities at Irvine Beach have been recognised by Keep Scotland Beautiful.

“This award has been earned by the hundreds of local volunteers from Irvine Clean Up Crew who have transformed the beach over the last two years, as well as those who give their own time to staff the community run toilets and first aid facilities at Coastwatch Irvine.

“We also thank North Ayrshire Council for providing some recent investment around the beach area.

The community is looking forward to welcoming lots of new visitors to our beautiful golden sands over the summer.”

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “We’ve worked closely with volunteers from Irvine Clean Up Crew to make improvements to both the beach and Beach Park areas.

“We are absolutely delighted that the hard work has paid off and led to this award, putting Irvine Beach back on the map once again. We look forward to continuing our work with the group in the future, ensuring our coast is a fantastic asset which can be enjoyed by local people and tourists alike.”