Discussions are ongoing around the sale of Dam Park Stadium
Plans to transform access to sport and athletics in South Ayrshire are gathering momentum. The Council is working on a number of high-quality, linked initiatives to improve sport and facilities in Ayr, in partnership with several community groups.
The first part of this programme will see a major project to deliver new state-of-the-art sports facilities next to Ayr Academy in the Craigie Estate. The project was outlined in the March 2018 budget, with a budget of £4.7million made available.
The project will create a new eight-lane running track with a grass infield for field sports such as long jump, discus and javelin, alongside flexible storage space, associated changing pavilion and car parking.
This comes as the Council continues constructive discussions with Ayr Rugby Football Club about relocating to play its games in the town centre at Dam Park Stadium. The move would help raise the profile of the club through its involvement in the new 'Super Six' format for Scotland. The move would also help contribute towards Ayr town centre regeneration by increasing footfall on match days.
Discussions are also ongoing with Whitletts Victoria Football Club around them relocating from Dam Park to play their games at Whitletts. This project involves improving existing facilities to serve community and sporting needs, providing a long-term home for the club.
Importantly, the initiatives are all linked and the sequence of improvements outlined will only be possible if the existing users at Dam Park are successfully relocated, with discussions currently ongoing and making positive progress.
Councillor Brian McGinley, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure said they working to achieve a vibrant vision, "We're committed to reducing poverty and disadvantage and working with our communities to deliver sustainable ways of promoting health and wellbeing.
"The projects in Dam Park, Craigie and Whitletts are designed to dramatically improve our sports provision in Ayr, while working closely with community sports groups to make sure that these developments act as a springboard for future success. They also fit well with Ayr Academy's growing reputation as a school of sport with a school of football, school of rugby and school of dance all being part of what the school offers.
"The new sports facility at Craigie is due to be delivered in the 2019/20 financial year and will be open for community use. Once completed, the developments will lay the foundations for generations of people across South Ayrshire to take part in sporting activity."