Improved business advice and support and a review of town centre activities is on the cards for Ayr after South Ayrshire Council appointed a dedicated project officer to help support the regeneration and growth of the town centre.
Robert Robertson – who lives in South Ayrshire – is the newest member of the team working with partners, key stakeholders and the public to develop projects aimed at encouraging more people into the heart of the town.
Robert will play a key role as the Council looks to gather feedback from locals on exciting proposals such as the creation of high-quality and attractive public spaces, a new town centre leisure facility, new housing adjacent to the High Street, and dedicated event and community areas.
He will also provide business support and help deliver town centre activities to increase footfall.
Robert said: "I have a passionate interest in my home town and have seen it go through many changes, so I'm excited to be part of the regeneration journey.
"With a wealth of experience dealing with business owners and customers and a strong track record in businesses development and growth for the likes of Coca Cola, I hope my knowledge and expertise will be a valuable asset for town centre businesses. I look forward to working with businesses, shoppers and residents to make sure we all do our bit to help Ayr town centre reach its full potential and be the attractive, vibrant and bustling town we want it to be."
Robert will link closely with the other town centre project officer who works across South Ayrshire on a part-time basis with the intention is to deploy additional officers to support the other towns in the area – an enhanced outreach service will also be provided to support rural areas too.
Councillor Brian McGinley, Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure Portfolio Holder for the Council, said:
"Encouraging people into our towns is vital if we're to boost the local economy. Our town centre project officers sit at the heart of this work and will link with local businesses and the community as we take forward this exciting programme.
"Thriving town centres have a healthy mix of social, cultural and economic activities, so Robert will play a key role as we forge important links with individuals and groups who currently run activities in Ayr and with those keen to be part of the town's revitalisation.
"It's vital that people talk to Robert and the team about their vision for Ayr town centre and we'll be holding consultation events next month to help capture views. Only through positive discussion and debate can we ensure that we have public backing for projects which could completely transform the town.
"We want to make the most of all our town centres and that's why we'll be following Robert's appointment with additional deployment of officers to support our other towns in due course and our rural communities too. These appointments will act as a catalyst as we look to not only attract people into our towns and villages, but ensure they keep coming back time and time again."