Briefing sessions held for town survey results

The findings from five independent town centre surveys undertaken in Girvan, Maybole, Prestwick and Troon have been presented to local businesses and community representatives in a series of information briefings held in November and December.

Commissioned by the Council, the independent surveys (funded by the ERDF INTERREG IVA BIDS Project) asked South Ayrshire shoppers, residents and businesses for their views on their town centres – and encouraged feedback on how these might be improved.

In addition, the survey questioned how people used their local town centres for shopping, recreation, leisure and as a visitor destination.

Business and community representatives were invited to each of the information sessions – with further feedback encouraged and recorded on the findings.

The main findings from each town session follow, together with a link to the consultant’s main report and findings in each town centre.

  • Girvan presented a mixed picture for the town centre with positive community support from shoppers and residents expressed towards the town retail services and environment. However, there was a contrary and less positive view among the businesses. Empty shops came up as an issue and like Maybole shopping leakage towards Ayr was seen as an issue. At the feedback session the positives from the findings about Girvan where re-enforced by those present but felt it was felt that there is the need to get the positive message out more widely to other south Ayrshire towns.
  • Maybole results indicated that the majority of town centre use is by local residents, with positive levels of local community support for shops and services. Those attending that the findings show traffic concerns in the town centre and that Maybole faces considerable challenges in minimising shopping ‘leakage’ from people going to Ayr town centre.
  • Prestwick shoppers and residents said the town had a good variety of quality retail outlets, food and drink restaurants. Parking, traffic and public seating were flagged as concerns, but, on balance, the survey findings showed that it was seen as a well maintained town centre with a positive feel.
  • Troon results showed a positive picture for the town, with a high recognition of its quality shops and local business. Those attending the feedback session were surprised by residents suggesting the town needed more discount stores. Some retailers indicated that some shoppers feel Troon only had shops offering expensive goods – and this might be driving some shoppers away from town.
  • Ayr - Shoppers and residents in Ayr believe the range of shops and services and the ranges of cafes and restaurants are good. However, the survey revealed concerns about the lack of seating and toilets, and some people surveyed felt that Ayr was run down. Those present at the Ayr feedback session re-enforced the findings of issues around parking and traffic within the town centre. The surveys revealed shopping leakage to other areas, though Ayr is still commonly the main choice for a range of shops and services.

For more information Alison Blair, email: Tel. 01292 616135.