PUPILS at two tiny island primary schools could be given lunches made at a nearby hotel as the Scottish Government moves to introduce free school meals for young children.

Iona Primary School, on Iona, and Ulva Primary School, on Mull, currently have no kitchens or catering facilities. Installing kitchens at the two schools is estimated to cost £500,000 and the local authority is looking at other ways to provide school dinners. Iona Primary has just 16 pupils and Ulva primary has 13.

Argyll and Bute Council is looking at how much it will cost to comply with the new Scottish Government policy, for primary age pupils.

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At the council's policy and resources committee, Liberal Democrat councillor Robin Currie queried whether "spending half a million pounds on new kitchens was the best way to provide school lunches".

But Douglas Hendry, executive director of customer services at the council, said: "We have looked at the various possibilities, including asking the local hotel to provide the food.

"There is still not absolute certainty about what the capital funding allocation will be but the Scottish Government has confirmed reasonable costs will be met."