AN extra £25,000 is being spent to increase the number of walkers on the banks of the Forth & Clyde Canal.

The cash is going towards benches and distance markers along a two-mile stretch of towpath to attract more residents from Clydebank to step out along the famous canal.

Dozens of volunteer walk leaders and first aiders will also be on hand to help, guide and keep safe the public, who are being urged to use canal banks for daily walks.

The improvements are for the benefit of householders in the neighbouring communities of Whitecrook, Linnvale and Dalmuir and are being introduced by members of the West Dunbartonshire Community Volunteer Services (WDCVS).

Glasgow Airport's FlightPath Fund, which supports community initiatives, has put up the £25,000.

The windfall will be used to plan and design distance markers and benches and will enable organisers to train up to 48 volunteers as qualified walk leaders and first aiders.

Councillor Kath Ryall, who sits on the FlightPath Committee, said: "The Forth & Clyde Canal is an important part of the community because it runs right through Clydebank.

"I think it is fantastic Community Volunteer Services has placed such a focus on improving it to the benefit of the nearby residents."

Selina Ross, chief executive of WDCVS, is delighted with the cash injection and added: "Volunteering is a crucial aspect of the project and we would encourage anyone who would like to be involved to get contact us."

Linton McBurnie, at Scottish Canals, added: "The canal is a fantastic resource for the people of Clydebank and our hard-working volunteers are vital to safeguarding and improving the rich heritage and environment of the waterway for everyone to enjoy."