A CAMPAIGN to save an iconic paddle steamer has exceeded half a million pounds in funding.

The Waverley, which was a regular visitor to Inverclyde, has been in operation since 1975 but was withdrawn from service in May following serious structural defects in its boilers.

Now supporters and fans of the vessel, which carries around 130,000 passengers a year, have banded together to raise £500,000 to put towards its repair.

The works will cost an estimated £2.3m, but the replacement boilers are expected to extend Waverley's operational life by around 20 to 25 years.

Since its launch in June, the Save the Waverley campaign has gathered support from across the country, and over 4,000 individuals have donated.