A TROUBLESHOOTER credited with turning Scottish Opera around has been brought in to help save Greenock's crisis-hit Beacon Arts Centre.

New Zealander Alexander Reedijk has been appointed chairman on the recommendation of the senior council officials who tabled a rescue plan before the education and communities committee earlier this week.

In Mr Reedijk's 13 years with the national company it enjoyed a new lease of life and has been hailed for taking the classical art form into schools and communities.

On the back of his appointment and a new action plan being put in place councillors agreed to release the first instalment of funds to keep the doors open at the Beacon.

Mr Reedijk says he is 'delighted' to become Beacon chairman.

He said: "The arts and culture scene across the country is exciting and vibrant and, of course, full of daily challenges.

"I aim to bring to the role my experience of leading arts organisations at a senior level, particularly through periods of transition.

"As a board we are committed to helping to make sure the Beacon has a strong future as a centre for the arts and cultural activity in Greenock and the wider Inverclyde area, and continues to take its rightful place in Scottish cultural life.

"I thank Gordon Armour and the retiring members of the board for their passion and commitment to the Beacon and to this community.”

A source described the appointment as 'really exciting', adding: "Mr Reedijk comes with a great reputation.

"This is someone the senior council officials believe can steady the ship."

The Tele reported last week that the Beacon was once again facing financial trouble and six directors had left the board. There has also been turmoil at managerial level and chief executive Sean Paul O’Hare is on gardening leave because of gross misconduct allegations.

The education and communities committee met in private on Tuesday to decide if they should continue to back the Beacon, which is supported by a £200,000 annual grant from the council.

Before Mr Reedijk's appointment as general director Scottish Opera had been plagued by disputes.

Since 2006 he has driven initiatives for young people and for people living with dementia, including the world’s first dementia-friendly opera performances in 2016.

In November 2011, he was awarded Fellowship of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

He arrived at Scottish Opera after spending four years at the helm of The NBR New Zealand Opera and before that he was the executive director of the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts.

As New Zealand Festival’s deputy executive director he was responsible for Edinburgh's Military Tattoo's first ever outside visit when it took place in Wellington in 2000.

Outgoing Greenock Arts Guild chair Gordon Armour said: “The Beacon Arts Centre is a wonderful facility with so much potential.

"Alex’s appointment as chair is one to be welcomed.

"He brings a wealth of experience of success with major arts organisations and I wish him well.”