Ayr could have a new cinema by the new year, according to the town's MSP.

As reported by the Advertiser in August, Merlin Cinemas bought the venue in Burns Statue Square after it was closed down by the Odeon chain earlier in the year.

The new owners said the cinema would open "as soon as possible" under the new name of the Astoria Ayr.

The Merlin group added that they didn't want the building to sit "empty and unloved" for any longer than necessary, and that further improvements will follow once it has reopened.

However, Ayr's MSP Siobhian Brown says she's received an update from Merlin on the progress of work - and that in some respects the refurbishment is taking much more work than anticipated.

Ms Brown said: "I’ve had an update from Merlin on the progress of the old Odeon building.

"Internal tech-work is under way including with sound, replacement projection and servers - which is a much larger job than expected.

"Plus works on the heating system and the foyer have still to be completed.

"I’m still hoping we can have cinema services in Ayr for the new year, and I’ll update you all after my next meeting with Merlin."