A winter sports firm has applied for planning permission to take about 30,000 tonnes of granite from Ailsa Craig.

Bosses at Kays Curling want to start extracting the rock in October or November to make curling stones.

They also plan to erect a cabin and bridges on the windswept island.

The bird sanctuary is owned by the 9th Marquess of Ailsa, David Kennedy.

Winter Olympics curling stone maker Kays warned if it is not granted planning consent it could go bust.

A document submitted to council planners said: “Kays Curling have used up the stone collected from pervious harvests and now require further harvests in order to provide curling stones around the world.

“If that is not possible then Kays may go out of business.”

Rock would be taken by boat from the gannet colony to Girvan Harbour.

Kays said the granite on the Firth of Clyde island is uncommon and it hopes to remove thousands of tonnes over the next 30 years.

It is bidding to extract 25,500 tonnes of common green granite from the south of the volcanic plug. And bosses aim to get 5,100 tones of Blue Hone granite from the northern part of the island.

A significant amount of fallen granite boulders are to be lifted.

Workers are also expected to place explosives inside holes in the rock to blast some stone.

The work would be timed to avoid the bird breeding season. And an ornithologist would monitor activity to ensure it doesn’t impact birds.

A shelter is also to be erected for contractors to eat in, store clothing and sleep in during extreme weather.

Kays Curling said it has a long-term lease in place with the Marquess for the extraction of granite. It last harvested granite in 2013 and 2002. The supplier has provided curling stones for the last five Olympic winter games.

An environmental impact assessment sent to the council said: “The granite is therefore considered as the best in the world for curling stones and the granite is only found on Ailsa Craig.”

The Mauchline-based company was founded in 1851.

Ailsa Craig is an uninhabited nature reserve managed by the bird protection charity RSPB. Boats trips are available for tourists from Girvan.

The craggy landmark boasts a listed castle and automated lighthouse.

South Ayrshire Council has not made a decision on the Ailsa Craig planning application from Kays Curling yet.