D-Day for Girvan

AFTER over two years of campaigning "D-Day" has finally arrived for Girvan.

Townsfolk have marched in their hometown and in Ayr to prevent the closure of the town's swimming pool - a move which many saw as epitomising its decline.

After the battle to save the pool was lost the town's community council has fought a sustained campaign to see a replacement for the pool and the regeneration of the town centre and waterfront areas, crucial to any future growth in Girvan.

Community council chairman Alec Clark is asking local people to make their voices heard tomorrow (Thursday, December 16) as South Ayrshire councillors finally decide what, if anything, is to replace the swimming pool they demolished this summer.

rvan's harbour is on the verge of a major redevelopment.

Councillors will be asked to approve proposals tomorrow at County Buildings which could see a swimming pool, cafe and fitness suite built at the old town baths site.

Plans will also include a "multi purpose gathering space" - which will provide a venue for public events, concerts and business conferences - and a quality restaurant, which will be encouraged to "exploit the views of the surrounding countryside to ensure the dining experience is enhanced by the setting".

An outdoor learning and activity centre is also mooted to cater for both educational and practical aspects of sports such as cycling, hill-walking, paddle sports and sailing.

However, should councillors approve plans put forward to them, construction work on the new pool is not expected start until late 2012.

Despite the timescale the ruling SNP/Conservative group hope its plan highlights the importance it has placed on the regeneration of Girvan and the south Carrick area.

The new pool would be constructed on the site of the previous swimming pool in the town.

The report to be placed before councillors this week states, "The preferred location of such a development would be off to the side of the site of the original pool and pavilion.

"This means the resident and visitor would get a clear, uninterrupted view of Ailsa Craig. This development of a multi-faceted facility provides a comprehensive, holistic solution and delivers on meeting a number of community needs as well as contributing to the achievement of council priorities."

Economic development is crucial to the success of the plans and council officers will target a number of areas with the aim of making the project a success.

The report continued: "Economic development, however, cannot be reliant on one aspect alone and it is further proposed that in tandem with the development a number of other improvement initiatives are progressed to achieve sustainable growth and a rebirth of the area as a tourist, leisure, and retail hub and as a place for families to stay and prosper."

Sources close to the Gazette were "quietly confident" that the plans would be approved.