Cherry Tree Early Years Centre will open later this year
Almost £350 million to be invested over next ten years in extended programme
South Ayrshire Councillors have approved a record-breaking multi-million pound capital investment programme that will deliver new and improved sports and leisure facilities, state-of-the-art schools, better roads, extend early years provision, and support job creation and business growth through the Ayrshire Growth Deal.
A total of £347.2 million will be spent over the next ten years – with £72 million invested in 2019/20 alone – to transform towns and villages and benefit every single person across South Ayrshire.
The extension of the capital programme to ten years, rather than eight, reflects best practice in financial planning and allows the Council to plan for the longer-term. It also marks an unprecedented level of funding for South Ayrshire's people and places.
The capital programme is designed to support the Council's strategic objectives and priorities: providing effective leadership that promotes fairness, reducing poverty and disadvantage; delivering health and care systems that meet people's needs; making the most of the local economy; increasing the profile and reputation of South Ayrshire and the Council; and enhancing the environment through social, cultural and economic activities.
More than £113 million will be invested in our schools and early years facilities over the next decade. This includes new schools for Girvan Primary (£22.4 million), Carrick Academy in Maybole (£21.2 million), Glenburn Primary and St Ninian's Primary shared campus in Prestwick (£17.6 million) and Sacred Heart Primary in Girvan (£3.9 million), as well as a range of school refurbishment projects.
To support the expansion of early years provision from 600 hours to 1,140 hours for all three and four year olds and eligible two year olds by 2020, a total of £12.7 million will be invested in early learning and childcare projects to ensure children in South Ayrshire get the best start in life. Early years projects being progressed in 2019/20 include the opening of the new Cherry Tree Early Years Centre; extensions at Barr, Coylton, Kincaidston and Symington Early Years Centres; a new-build Forehill Early Years Centre; and a new Early Years Centre within the refurbished Ayr Grammar Primary. Further projects will also be delivered in 2020/21.
Almost £50 million of the programme will be spent enhancing sport and leisure facilities across the area. This includes £40 million for a new leisure facility in Ayr town centre, £7.1 million for additional enhanced sporting facilities at Craigie Sporting Centre, £845,000 for an all-weather pitch in Girvan, £578,000 to refurbish and extend the King George V changing facilities, £535,000 to refurbish the national Bowling Centre at Northfield, and £400,000 to upgrade sporting facilities at Whitletts.
An additional £9.5 million has been added to the programme for road reconstruction and improvement, taking the total over the ten years to £17.5 million, while more than £5 million has been allocated for street-lighting and LED replacement.
Funding of £21 million has also been added to the programme in respect of investment in Prestwick Airport as part of the Council's contribution to delivering the Ayrshire Growth Deal, which is being supported by funding of £200 million from the UK and Scottish Governments.
Other significant areas of investment include funding of £11.1 million for a green waste/household recycling and waste transfer station, £6 million in cemetery infrastructure, £1.5 million for the provision of Place Plans, and £1 million to support the regeneration of Maybole town centre.
Councillor Peter Henderson, Portfolio Holder for Resources and Performance, said: "Today is a milestone for the people and places of South Ayrshire, marking a record-breaking level of funding that will create a legacy for generations to come.
"The capital investment we have set out today will touch the lives of everyone in South Ayrshire and make them better – whether that's through giving our children the best possible start in life, providing our young people with the best education in the highest quality facilities, providing access to first-class sport and leisure facilities that support people to get fit and active and support their health and wellbeing, or delivering the infrastructure to create jobs and grow the economy.
"It is a bold and ambitious programme that will have a positive impact everywhere – towns and villages, urban and rural. It not only reflects our ambitions for our people and places, but sets out how we are going to turn those ambitions into reality, and I look forward to seeing that happen in the months and years ahead.
"We are well and truly leading the way in delivering innovative investment programmes that will have long-lasting and positive impacts for our people, our places and our future."
Full details of the Council's capital investment programme for 2019/20 to 2028/29 are available here.