Tributes have been paid to “bright light” Eilidh MacLeod, 14, from Barra, on the third anniversary of the Manchester Arena bomb attack in which she was killed.

The tragedy was marked yesterday with a virtual ceremony.

Eilidh’s Trust on Facebook wrote: “It is hard to believe three years have passed since we lost our beautiful Eilidh. A bright light and a spark of fun was extinguished that night, making our worlds darker and poorer as a result. The events at Manchester Arena have left a mark on all of our lives.

“At this time, we will keep Eilidh’s family – and those of all the victims – in our thoughts. We send them our love and assure them Eilidh’s vigour for

life, and her deep affection for family, friends and music are at the forefront of all our minds over the coming days.

“We all have happy memories of Eilidh and the part she played in our lives. This is what we will think about at this time.”

On behalf of the trustees, Suzanne White said: “We established the trust to build a legacy for Eilidh by supporting other young musicians to continue her musical journey. Over the past year, with your amazing support, we have been able to start doing that.

“We are so incredibly proud that, so far, we have been able to provide funding to 19 youth music groups across Scotland and in Manchester. It is all of you lovely, beautiful people that has made that happen with your love, friendship and support.”

Ms White added: “Our work has only really started and we are so grateful to every single person that has backed us so far. Please don’t stop. We know you will stand by us and that we can rely on you to always be there for us.

“At this time let us not only reflect on Eilidh’s life and the gap she has left, but let us reaffirm our commitment to continuing her legacy in the months and years to come through future generations of young musicians.”

The trust added: “As always, we remind you of the beautiful words of Wishing Well, written for Eilidh by Angus MacPhail of Skippinish: ‘Your spirit was strong, now silent your song. But your soul with the Pole Star shines on.’

“Reaching out a hand of friendship and support was one of Eilidh’s

strong personal attributes. Helping others was something she very much believed in.”

Plans have also been unveiled for a permanent memorial to the 22 people who lost their lives in the attack.

The nationwide coronavirus lockdown meant the public had been advised not to gather or leave tributes to commemorate the third anniversary of the atrocity.

A church service, led by the Dean of Manchester Rogers Govender, began with prayers at 9.30am and was held again at 4.30pm, when the names of all 22 victims were read out.

The Manchester cathedral service was broadcast live on Facebook, with those watching invited to light a candle in remembrance.

At 10.31pm, the time the bomb was detonated on May 22, 2017, a recording of the cathedral's bells tolling 22 times was broadcast on Radio Manchester, while other stations broadcast

'a reflective moment'.

Carpets of flowers, teddy bears and handmade hearts have been laid in St Ann's Square in the past two years but this week the public was asked not to leave tributes.

Manchester city council said its plans for a permanent memorial, called Glass of Light, would be submitted for approval next month. A white stone 'halo' will bear the names of the victims in bronze and contain personalised memory capsules provided by families and friends.

The memorial, between the cathedral and Chetham's school of music, is designed to be a tranquil garden space where people can spend time in quiet reflection.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: "Manchester will never forget the terrible events of 22 May 2017. Those who were killed, those who lost loved ones and all those whose lives changed forever that night are forever in our thoughts.

"We will be thinking of them on May 22 and importantly plans for a permanent memorial, a tranquil space for contemplation which can be used year-round, are progressing well.

"We have consulted, and continue to consult, with those who lost loved ones on the location and form of the memorial. Their input remains crucial but we also welcome the views of others as part of wider engagement around the Medieval Quarter plans."

Professor Malcolm Press, chair of the Manchester Memorials Advisory Group, said: "We are determined to ensure a fitting and lasting memorial.

"Getting to this point has taken great care and consideration and it is good to be in a position where we can now share more detail with the public."

Keen piper Eilidh was among those killed at American singer Ariana Grande's concert. Eilidh's friend Laura MacIntyre survived, despite horrific injuries.

The Eilidh MacLeod Memorial Trust, which was set up in her memory, has been trying to help young musicians during the pandemic by enabling teaching.

A statue and garden in memory of Eilidh has also been approved by planners.

The trust has won permission from Western Isles Council to construct a memorial garden with a bronze sculpture, bench seat and footpath at Bentangaval on her native island.