THE Waverley, the world's last sea- going paddle steamer, has been given a £15,000 boost to help keep her sailing.
Inverclyde Council is to donate the cash to Waverley Excursions who run the vessel.
The company has asked for contributions from over 50 councils across the UK after encountering funding problems.
Inverclyde Council Leader Councillor Stephen McCabe said: "We already provide free berthing facilities in Greenock and last year approved £25,000 for the repair of the quayside for use by the PS Waverley.
"It is important that we work together to come up with a sustainable solution for the company to continue operating this iconic vessel. The Waverley contributes significantly to the local economy in Inverclyde and brings thousands of tourists to the area every year.
"Local volunteers are heavily involved in the maintenance and running of the ship so it is important that we do what we can to preserve the tradition of trips 'doon the water'."
The one-off contribution will be subject to Waverley Excursions Ltd demonstrating there is sufficient other funding raised to cover the costs of a winter refit and operating the ship next year.
Around £200,000 has already been raised by the 'Save the Waverley' campaign – but unless another £150,000 can be found, it is feared that the current sailing season may be its last.
Twenty MSPs have already backed the bid to save the paddle steamer, which contributes around £4.8 million to the UK economy.
Hikes in fuel prices and consecutive poor summers have contributed to the funding crisis.