AN Inverclyde schools’ pipe band that will give young players the chance to perform at a higher level looks set to be launched after the council received a three-year funding offer.

The Scottish Schools’ Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT) is looking to fully finance a training and development group that would play at council events and teach pupils to a level where they could consider joining a competitive band.

The offer is for £75,000, which would be transferred to the council in three blocks of £25,000 across the next three financial years.

There is no promise of cash beyond 2024/25 but it’s likely funding may be able to continue, with some other local authorities now in their sixth year of financial support.

The council’s education and communities committee is expected to approve the establishment of a band at a meeting next week.

A piping instructor already works with around 50 aspiring musicians across the region’s schools.

However, there is currently no drumming provision and the funding would help to introduce this to around 20 pupils for the first time, as well as expand tutoring to a further 15 to 20 budding pipers.

Education convener Councillor Jim Clocherty said: “I would hope the committee agrees with me that this is a huge positive for Inverclyde.

“We have always enjoyed hearing the pipe band from St Columba’s private school who have helped us at functions and so for the council to be able to establish their own band would be brilliant.”

The funding offer is subject to approval by SSPDT’s board once members have seen the council’s final implementation plan.

If the plan is signed off, the band would consist of 20 to 25 players with a further 50 to 65 students being taught at any one time to a performing level standard of piping or drumming.

A report by coouncil officials says: 'Including the resource already available as part of the Inverclyde Music Service revenue budget, there is potential to see 70 to 90 young people learning pipes and drums each week in schools.

'Although the SSPDT are unable to fully confirm at this stage continued commitment beyond the initial three-year period of funding, there is a likelihood that support may be able to continue.

'Members should be aware of the possibility this funding may cease at some point in the future after the three-year period.

'Officers will establish an exit strategy to minimise the impact on young people should this be the case.'