Local people are set to have their say on exciting proposals that will help transform and regenerate Ayr town centre and celebrate its heritage, history and culture following a unanimous decision taken by South Ayrshire Councillors.
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 where people can come together are at the heart of proposals that will now be taken forward to ensure the future of Ayr town centre is shaped by everyone who wants to play their part.
The proposals set out an exciting vision that will support the Council's efforts to make the most of the local economy, increase the profile and reputation of South Ayrshire, and enhance the environment through social, cultural and economic activities.
Bringing together opportunities for housing, retail, leisure, transport, history and heritage, the proposals include:
- Using the riverside site to create an open and attractive public area on the banks of the River Ayr that makes the most of the superb location and provides the perfect space and a focal point for public events and community use that bring people to the bottom end of the town.
- Creating new housing beside the river that supports and sustains a vibrant and active town centre, bringing people and homes that keep with the character of the area into the heart of the town.
- Complementing ongoing projects like the new Archives Centre and community space that will be established at the former Ayr Academy site to create a small heritage museum at the gateway to the town.
- Creating a new leisure facility that provides closer links with other town centre amenities.
- Maximising the use of appropriate Council buildings and relocating from premises like Burns House that are not remotely fit for purpose to base our employees in our town centres.
- Improving the streetscape and public realm.
As well as public consultation, a dedicated sounding board will also be formed to play a key role in the regeneration of the town centre.
Councillor Douglas Campbell, Leader of South Ayrshire Council, said: "We have been clear all along about our ambitions for Ayr town centre and these proposals set out a step change for how we want our people, businesses and visitors to use and contribute to a vibrant town centre in Ayr.
"We want to ensure that we get it right for everyone, which is why these ideas need to be discussed, dissected and debated with the local community and that's exactly what we now have, the mandate to progress.
"We all have a vested interest in ensuring Ayr can be the best town centre it can possibly be, which will – in turn – act as a catalyst for a wider regeneration and rejuvenation programme across all our towns in South Ayrshire.
"Our town centres need to adapt and move with the times and we believe these proposals will not only bring more people into Ayr town centre, but will give them a reason to stay and come back time and time again. If we can do that, we will go a long way to achieving what we want for the people and places of South Ayrshire.
"These are proposals which could completely revitalise the town and be enjoyed by future generations, so it's only fitting that anyone with an interest in Ayr town centre has the opportunity to have their say. Please just make sure you take part."
Details of the public consultation will be made available at the earliest opportunity.