AN AYRSHIRE burger chain has closed down all its restaurants in the area in a shock blow to the area's fast food scene.

Meat In The Middle (MITM) blamed spiralling energy costs for the demise of the business.

It's not known how many jobs have been lost as a result of the closure of the firm's restaurants in Princes Street in Ardrossan; Main Road in Whitletts, Ayr; Townholm, Kilmarnock; and at the Top o' the Brae Chippy in Tower Street, Cumnock.

Boss Ross Gilmour confirmed: "MITM is no longer trading in any capacity. Unfortunately the energy companies forced our hand."

The company had expanded across Ayrshire in recent years, but they were forced to close their Irvine branch last year.

They opened their Ardrossan restaurant in Princes Street less than a year ago after a £30,000 refit of the property which was once the Lyric cinema and had been trading until 2019 as Garfields Tapas Bar.

The lease for the building has been advertised by property firm Bowman Rebecci, who said: "The leasehold of a fully furnished Class 3 hot food takeaway with all of its equipment, fixtures, and fittings is available to purchase located in a highly-visible part of Ardrossan.

"Meat In The Middle was refurbished in 2021 to the extent of c. £30,000 and is in walk-in condition for new occupiers.

"The ‘Lyric’, is a corner-positioned, two-storey, category B-listed former cinema building, which was converted in the late 2000s to form self-contained restaurant premises on the ground floor with private flats above.

"The landlord is open to negotiation of a new long-term lease for the new proprietor, with a sensible rental figure of £12,000 per annum.

"59 Princes Street is available for offers in the region of £15,000."