TWO little girls who were born on the same day that the Beacon opened are joining in the theatre’s fifth birthday celebrations.

Olivia Crichton and Katherine Forbes both celebrate their fifth birthdays on Saturday, which is also the fifth anniversary of the £10 million waterfront theatre.

To mark the milestone, Beacon bosses invited Olivia and Katherine along to the theatre.

Olivia’s mum Barbara, from Greenock’s Flax Way, says it’s lovely to think her daughter was born on such a momentous day.

She said: “It’s a wonderful occasion and makes her birthday extra special.

“Olivia loves to sing and dance, so it’s apt that she was born on the day the theatre opened.

“She likes going to the Beacon to see shows and has also performed in a ballet show here.”

Katherine’s mum Heather, from John Street in Gourock, is pleased that her daughter, who also enjoys singing and dancing, shares her birthday with an important local landmark.

She said: “We are proud to be involved in this. It’s nice to celebrate her birthday with the Beacon, especially as its opening was such a milestone for the area.

“We come a lot to the Beacon to see the shows and were recently here to see the Snow White panto.

“The children love it and we also enjoy coming here for food — I think you have got to support your local community.”

Primary one pupils Olivia and Katherine, who attend St John’s Primary and Gourock Primary respectively, both say they hope to receive roller skates for their birthdays.

Since opening its doors in 2013, The Beacon has welcomed more than half a million people who have enjoyed performances, viewed exhibitions or eaten in the bar/kitchen, and a record-breaking 16,000 people enjoyed the 2017 panto.

Isabel Lind OBE, a Beacon trustee, said: “The centre has played a major role in Inverclyde over the last five years and is a major resource for the area on a cultural, educational and social level.”

Gordon Armour, chairman of the Beacon’s finance and general purposes committee, says this is an exciting time for the venue ahead of the arrival of new chief executive Sean Paul O’Hare in February.

He said: “I can’t believe that it has been five years, it has passed very quickly.”

A series of events are planned throughout the year to celebrate the Beacon’s birthday.