ICONIC Scottish artist Steven Brown’s mascots Betty and Harris McCoo have helped local nursery children unveil Scotland’s latest top-up tap as part of a new Scottish Water campaign.

The state-of-the-art refill point, only the country’s second, was set up in Ayr town centre just outside of the artist’s shop.

The installation is designed to encourage people to carry a reusable bottle and stay hydrated on the go.

The mascots entertained a group of children from nearby Riverbank Nursery ahead of yesterday’s ceremony. The children then took great delight in ripping off the Christmas wrapping paper to reveal the high-tech tap.

As part of its Your Water Your Life Campaign, Scottish Water plans to work with every local authority in Scotland to identify suitable locations for its network of Top Up Taps.

Each unit will be plumbed into the public water supply and fitted with technology which will enable them to digitally track water usage at each spot.

Data loggers will then provide information which can be used to calculate cost, plastic savings and the volume of water used.

Brown commented: “We’re delighted to support this campaign that encourages people to make the most of the lovely, fresh tap water we have in this country.”

Ruaridh MacGregor, Scottish Water’s corporate affairs regional manager, added: “We’re encouraging everyone to make full use of the top up tap. It can benefit health and wellbeing, saves money and helps reduce waste and the impact on the environment.”

Scotland’s first Top Up Tap was installed outside the Scottish Parliament last month. Local MSP John Scott was also in Ayr to mark the unveiling. He commented: “I know from my own experience that the Top up tap outside the Scottish Parliament is going down well.

“I am in no doubt that this new feature in Newmarket Street will be equally welcomed by local people. Providing free access to clear and great tasting water in Ayr town centre for local people and visitors is a very positive step and one I am pleased to support.”