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Council make further progress with new Ayr leisure centre project

Ayr Leisure Centre Consultation CGI Image

South Ayrshire Council are set to get more people, more active, more often as the new Ayr leisure centre project took another step forward this week. 

A Pre-application Consultation (PAC) was held between 21 October and 1 November, which gave the local community the chance to view and comment on the proposals for the new facility. Following this, planning and listed building consent applications, including the PAC feedback, were submitted for consideration to the Council's Planning department on 19 November.

You can view and comment on the proposals at

Thanks to its prime location, the new leisure centre will not only bring more footfall into the town centre, but its facilities will also see an increase in capacity across a range of popular programmes and activities.

Current pool facilities at the Citadel allow for an average monthly attendance of 3200 (or 800 customers) on our Learn 2 Swim programmes.  This is set to increase to between 4000 - 5000 at the new facility. The new pool configuration will also see General Swim (monthly memberships) increase by around 27%, and the Summer Holiday Swim Programme will jump up from 4,000 to an impressive 10,000 attendances.  In total, it's anticipated that the annual pool activity attendance figures could increase by between 60,000 - 100,000 attendances per year under the current proposals. 

The centre will also boast a fantastic interactive water zone for families to enjoy, with a range of exhilarating features including water slides/flumes, and interactive play equipment like sprays, jets and bubble spouts.

Flexible multipurpose studios and consultation rooms will be able to accommodate a range of popular activities and classes such as martial arts, health development, yoga, pilates and aerobics, and the dedicated spin studio will have interactive sound and lighting. A multi-station fitness suite will also be on offer.  Featuring between 130 - 150 stations, the suite's cutting-edge cardio equipment and free weights will allow us to adapt to changing fitness trends.

We understand the importance of taking care of people's mental wellbeing too, particularly in the current climate, so this has been another consideration of the centre's design.  The bright, welcoming entrance foyer will incorporate a cafĂ©, double the size of the Citadel's cafe, with plenty of space for socialising; a soft play area; a small shop; and an external terrace.

The Planning department will now take a minimum of 16 weeks to determine the application. During this time, the design team will continue to develop proposals and it is anticipated that if approved, the project will commence on site in Spring 2022.

South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Economy and Culture, Councillor Chris Cullen said: "I'm delighted that we have reached the next milestone of this ambitious project. With its prime location at the heart of Ayr, the new leisure centre will become a key element in the rejuvenation of the town centre.

"It will also address some of the capacity issues we're experiencing at the Citadel.  At present there are around 300 new swim lesson customers on a waiting list due to lack of pool space at the Citadel.  This much-needed facility will allow us to increase capacity and meet the current demand in several important areas, such as our Learn 2 Swim programmes and the Summer Holiday Swim Programme.

"One of our aims with this project is to encourage people to become more active - and have fun along the way!  The proposals allow us to offer something for everyone, no matter their age, gender, ability or fitness level - a truly exciting prospect for locals and visitors to the area."