The billionaire owners of a bus firm have called for public funding to secure night buses to help reinvigorate town centres.

James and Sandy Easdale, the brothers who own McGill’s Buses, said they were looking at running night buses in Glasgow after First Bus said it was scrapping the services this month.

The withdrawal has been delayed until August 20 for talks but McGill’s are still interested in providing services and say they could have buses running soon if they get approval.

The brothers have said that public transport is key to vibrant town centres.

Sandy Easdale, McGill’s co-owner, said: “Our team has made an initial approach which was well received.

“We hope to be able to sit down formally with SPT, the local authority and Scottish government very soon to discuss how the night bus service can be funded to be commercially viable and provide a regular night-time service.

“It is in all our interests to support the night-time economy and improve access to Glasgow city centre.

“From our point of view we have the resources to get things up and running very quickly once we have agreement to do so.”

James Easdale, chairman of McGill’s, said: “Successful town centres are vital for the UK’s economic, environmental and social wellbeing. 

"We’re keen to see what is possible in Glasgow and if we can find a solution that is commercially viable, a similar model could be rolled out across the UK.”

Night time economy businesses have criticised the First Bus decision to scrap services and back calls for support for services.

Donald Macleod, convenor of Glasgow Licensing Forum and CEO of Hold Fast Entertainment Company, said: “The call from the Easdale brothers for government funding to help stimulate a ‘night bus revolution’ across the UK is most welcome.

“No more so than in Glasgow, where the complete lack of a reliable night bus service, or indeed a well-managed integrated public transport system is being acutely felt and putting many businesses, jobs and livelihoods at risk.”

Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night-time Industries Association, said: "Transport infrastructure is vitally important in maintaining a healthy night time economy. It is fantastic to see business leaders within the community speaking out, and I urge government and local authorities to come together to resolve the issues surrounding transport.”