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New Access Steps Officially Open on River Ayr

River Ayr Access Steps March

New access steps which will support increased access to watersports on the River Ayr officially opened on Sunday 17 March.

South Ayrshire Council's Thriving Communities team held an event to mark the occasion, in partnership with Scottish Rowing, Kyle Kayak Club and The Outdoor Partnership. 

Former Olympic Gold Medallist and current Chair of Sport UK, Dame Katherine Grainger, attended to show her support and promote the opportunities that the facility will bring to the area. The event was also attended by councillors and local groups, who were able to take part in a range of activities.  

The event also served to name the St Syles Skiff Coastal Rowing boat, officially named 'Selkirk Grace', built by local volunteers, The Outdoor Partnership and Ayr Academy pupils.

The access steps, which will increase opportunities for local people to participate in rowing, canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding, is supported by South Ayrshire Council's Thriving Communities team and local partners, including Scottish Rowing, Kyle Kayak Club, The Outdoor Partnership, and University of the West of Scotland (UWS).

Those set to benefit from the new facility include a community programme on the River Ayr run by Scottish Rowing; care experienced groups and young carers from Ayr, Kyle and Belmont Academies, school and community groups supported by the Council's outdoor learning team; the Outdoor Partnership and Kyle Kayak Club.

The secure facility will operate seasonally and will be maintained by Ayrshire Roads Alliance, with access managed by South Ayrshire Council.

South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Sport and Leisure, Councillor Brian Connolly, said: "This is great news for the local area, and will ensure that many more people in our communities can take part in a wide range of water-based activities.

"It's also another fantastic asset to add to our existing sport and leisure portfolio, and I'd like to thank everyone involved for their hard work on this project. I'm looking forward to seeing the River Ayr bustling with activity over the summer months."