Towns in North Ayrshire should be supported with UK Government and Scottish Government investment, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

A new report urges the Scottish Government and the UK Government to direct the Scottish National Investment Bank and the UK Stronger Towns Fund respectively to invest in projects and properties that would boost Scottish high streets and town centres.

Town centres in North Ayrshire have seen bad news with at least 15 bank branches, shop and local premises closures having been announced by big businesses since the start of 2016.

Hisashi Kuboyama, FSB’s development manager for Ayrshire, said: “More than nine out of 10 people in North Ayrshire live in towns, but these towns have recently faced real pressure from big business and public sector closures.

“That’s why FSB is calling on governments north and south of the border for long term investment in our local towns. This new supply of cash should help them adapt to current challenges but also help them to lay the groundwork to be great places to live in the future.

“The investment recently announced by North Ayrshire Council from the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Fund is a welcome starting point, but sustained and strategic investment will be needed to turn around the fortunes of North Ayrshire towns.”