THE new Beacon boss has likened the venue to the world-famous Sydney Opera House and insists it can be turned round with some 'housekeeping'.

Scottish Opera chief Alex Reedijk was appointed as chairman at the end of March following a mass exodus of directors, including predecessor Gordon Armour, amid a fresh round of financial uncertainty.

The married dad-of-two has a proven track record of turning around ailing businesses in Scotland and his native New Zealand.

He was headhunted by Inverclyde Council chiefs to help steady the ship in Greenock.

Mr Reedijk compared the situation at the Beacon to what it was like when he started with Scottish Opera 13 years ago when things were 'untidy'.

He also drew comparisons between the waterfront venue and the iconic building in Australia.

Mr Reedijk said: "It's a brilliant building, I already knew that having been here before with other shows. "I'd say it's second only to Sydney Opera House because of the connection with the community.

"Every time I've been here it's been fantastic.

"I do a bit of sailing and I sail past here, so I've seen it from the water.

"It's a fantastic building and the auditorium does its job very well - it has good acoustics and a good stage, especially for opera. "I feel really lucky to be able to spend more time down here."

Prior to reviving the fortunes of Scottish Opera, Mr Reedijk was the boss of New Zealand Opera.

He was also previously in charge of the New Zealand Festival and famously booked The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo to perform outside Scotland for the first time in 2000, with nearly 100,000 tickets selling out in just 36 hours.

Asked if he can make a telling impact at the Beacon, Mr Reedijk said: "I believe so, otherwise I wouldn't be using words like housekeeping and tidying up.

"There's some housekeeping to do, and application of common sense.

"It's not that anyone who has gone before has done differently or wrong, but sometimes you just need a fresh eye.

"I was asked if I could help and I felt I could. "One always wants to help and you weigh up whether you can. "I know my way around Scotland and the Beacon is an important building for the people of Inverclyde - it's a people's theatre."

Mr Reedijk was speaking before the Tele revealed on Tuesday that the struggling bistro could face the axe and up to five staff paid off to cut costs.

No final decision has been made on the future of the restaurant or the staff, but Mr Reedijk says it continues to 'run at a loss' and that they are looking at potential closure to help balance the books.