Significant work to restore the Maid of the Loch to her former glory has begun.

Following a £950,000 cash injection from The Scottish Government, the Loch Lomond Steamship Company (LLSC) has contracted out vital structural work to naval architects, Marine Design International Ltd.

This particular stage is necessary for meeting required safety standards and will involve surveying, calculating and designing any adjustments which may have to take place.

The paddle steamer will also see the installation of two-boiler feed pumps, along with new pipework and valves.

Work has also started to restore the Maid’s appearance back to the original 1950s style, which will be carried out by Dumbarton company Ferguson Flooring, who will source the materials for refurbishing the promenade aft deck saloon.

Once complete, this will house an education facility for hosting school visits and a main room for holding functions and events. A lift will also be fitted between decks.

John Beveridge, chairman of the Loch Lomond Steamship Company, said: “This week we’re celebrating 66 years since the Maid of the Loch first launched and with the refit work well underway our visitors should expect to see big changes over the coming months.

"They will be able to view the work taking place during this exciting time and get a glimpse into her former glory, when we open again at Easter."

Read more: Maid of the Loch receives £1million funding boost

As part of the Maid’s long-term strategy, the paddle steamer has created five job opportunities and LLSC has filled the roles of an office and events manager, an operations assistant, a heritage engineer and two fitters.

The fitters will work onboard to carry out a variety of tasks from maintaining and installing fixtures and fittings to servicing equipment and machinery.

Once the £1 million refit is completed, visitors to the Maid will be able to enjoy the ship ‘in steam’ again and watch her majestic engines and paddles slowly turning.

The progress is a welcome boost for the project after her historic slipping in January was abandoned following a loud snap and the agonising sight of the 555-ton vessel sliding back into Loch Lomond.

Read more: Maid of the Loch slipping 'abandoned' after ship slides back into Loch Lomond

John added: "Despite an unfortunate set-back with her slipping in January, we are more determined than ever to succeed in the restoration of this iconic steamer and it’s been a major achievement for us to be able to employ five people full-time.

"With the help of The Scottish Government and other valuable funders, we will not only create more jobs and training opportunities but also help the local economy.”