Toggle menu

Ayr is open for business! Council to provide a range of support to drive footfall to Ayr town centre during festive season

Ayr is Open for Business

South Ayrshire Council has confirmed that they are planning a range of additional festive activities and an advertising campaign that will help drive footfall into Ayr town centre and support local businesses in the run up to Christmas.

Each weekend from Saturday 25 November, the extended programme of festive entertainment will see an exciting range of activities at the top and bottom of the town.  What's more - they'll all be free!

The Grain Exchange, Cutty Sark Centre and Ayr Central Shopping Centre will all play host to some fun, seasonal attractions for everyone to enjoy. From 12:00noon to 4:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays in the run up to Christmas, children and families can take part in a range of activities including snowflake making, Christmas clay modelling, face painting and Christmas themed games. 

There's nothing better than some festive music to help you get into the spirit of the season while you're in town doing a bit of Christmas shopping.  So, make your way to The Grain Exchange and enjoy listening to some local choirs perform some Christmas classics and favourite yuletide hits. 

All this on top of the Festive Family Fun Day on Sunday 19 November, with its Christmas market, Santa Express Train, dance extravaganza and much more - there's a lot to look forward to!

From Sunday 19 November there's also the added bonus of all day, unlimited free on street parking in and around Ayr town centre and in Council car parks. This free parking will be available every day until Monday 8 January 2024.

We're also set to launch a brand-new promotional campaign to make sure that people in South Ayrshire and the wider area know that Ayr is open for business!

With the essential safety works continuing at the Station Hotel building, resulting in the temporary closure of Ayr Train Station and Station Bridge Road, we're creating a programme that will support eligible businesses in the immediate area.

Officers from our Economy and Regeneration team will soon contact all of the businesses that fall into the criteria directly, to talk about the additional business support that's available to them. 

Leader of South Ayrshire Council, Councillor Martin Dowey, said: "Ensuring public safety is at the forefront of our concerns.  This means that temporary road closures at Ayr Train Station and Station Bridge Road are essential to keep everyone safe during the ongoing safety works. A key objective is to get both rail and road transport moving again as soon as possible, however, with the closures expected to last until around 10th January, I want local retailers to know that the Council is here to support them.  Our extended range of festive activities is just what the town centre needs ahead of Christmas. Plus, we'll soon be launching our promotional campaign so that everyone knows Ayr is open and ready to welcome their custom! We've also been working hard behind the scenes on specific business support grants for shops and businesses in the immediate area of the closures that are severely impacted."

South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Tourism, Culture and Rural Affairs, Councillor Alec Clark said: "I'm pleased that we're enhancing our festive entertainment programme in Ayr town centre over the next few weeks.  This will help to attract more visitors and locals to the area.  Christmas is a time where people traditionally gather to enjoy seasonal activities like shopping, eating out, and being entertained.  We've substantially upped our range of activities to give families more opportunities to come together to create special memories, while supporting local retailers. Free parking in the town centre is also a great incentive to pay a visit."

South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Sport and Leisure, Councillor Brian Connolly, said: "To help businesses in Ayr town centre, we're really ramping up our festive events programme.  We want to encourage more footfall to the whole area in the run up to Christmas, and I'm sure these attractions will draw in more people who want to enjoy some great entertainment while they shop.  I fully appreciate the importance of this time of year for local businesses.  It's a crucial period for sales across all outlets, and as a Council we want to do all we can to support retailers."

South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Councillor Bob Pollock said: "It's our priority to muster footfall to the town centre, particularly as we enter the traditionally busy time of year for retailers. We understand that the temporary closures of Ayr Train Station and Station Bridge Road is affecting local business trade, so we're working to make grants available for those in the immediate area that are most impacted.  We'll make direct contact with all of the businesses that are eligible for grants to talk them through the ways we can help."

You can keep up to date with the festive activities on offer over the coming weekends by checking our dedicated page and by following the Council on social media  Facebook: South Ayrshire Council Live, X: @southayrshire, and LinkedIn: South-Ayrshire-Council  

Information about support grants and the online application form can be found at