A 25-YEAR vision for the future of Girvan will put the town firmly on the map as the Scottish government consultation on the regeneration of the area gave its final report last week.
The charrette team said it had a very positive response from the town for the plan which could include a range of ‘specific improvements’ developed around a ‘multi-faceted facility’ already approved by South Ayrshire Council.
A team will also be launched to ensure community involvement and leadership in the future of the project.
The specified improvements to the town include:
l A toddler’s beach at the boating lake.
l A dedicated market place and visitor information centre.
l A holiday village and hotel.
l An outdoor performance space.
l A ‘Water of Girvan’ boardwalk.
l Reinstatement of a tree-lined avenue on Henrietta Street.
l Stumpy Corner enhancements to provide a public square, cafe, outdoor terrace and climbing wall.
l New residential developments.
l Arts and crafts workshops and galleries.
l New lighting, paving and shopfront improvements on Dalrymple Street and further development of the Girvan community garden project.
A new ‘Town Team’ partnership between local communities in Girvan and South Carrick and the public, private and voluntary sectors is to be established to ensure “ongoing active community participation” in the regeneration of the local area, said South Ayrshire Council this week.
The team – which will hold its first meeting at the end of this month – is just one of the outcomes from the charrette, which was led by John Thomson & Partners (JTP) on behalf of the Scottish Government and South Ayrshire Council.
It concluded last week with the unveiling of the plans which, the council say, received a very warm welcome from the standing-room only audience.
A council statement this week said that the vision and masterplan set out a “positive and vibrant picture for the town and its residents”, and are designed to address the issues raised by the 250 people who participated in the charrette process over the weekend.
A spokeswoman for South Ayrshire Council said: “The indicative masterplan – which will be further discussed, refined and developed through the Town Team – shows just what the future could look like for Girvan.
“The masterplan includes improvement options for a vibrant and bustling harbour area developed around the multi-faceted facility – previously approved by South Ayrshire Council – with links to the business and retail part of town.”
Scottish Government Planning Minister Derek Mackay said: “The Girvan charrette was the third in the current programme sponsored by the Scottish Government.
“It has been a tremendously exciting opportunity for everyone who cares about Girvan to join in creating a vision for the future of the town, and a great chance for everyone in Girvan to work together by talking about their priorities and the challenges facing the town and how they can be addressed.”
Leader of South Ayrshire Council Councillor Bill McIntosh added: “I am thoroughly impressed with the masterplan and again want to thank all those who took the time to participate and help create this vision.
“I am delighted we will be taking forward the Town Team model – which has proved so successful in Scarborough – to progress the masterplan and ensure the right people from the right organisations are all seated at the table at the right time.
“The masterplan perfectly captures the potential of Girvan and the surrounding areas and gives the Town Team plenty to work with moving forward.
“I am in absolutely no doubt there is a very bright future ahead for Girvan and South Carrick and that bright future starts right now.”
Local Councillors Ian Fitzsimons, John McDowall and Alec Oattes also gave the vision and masterplan a warm welcome.
Councillor Fitzsimons said: “charrette was a great success - good ideas for the regeneration of Girvan and south Carrick.
“Hopefully this is the start of the journey for Girvan, to make it a place to come back to visit.
“Thanks to everybody who attended to make the final evening full of promise for the future.”
Councillor McDowall added: “Last week’s design charrette can only be judged a resounding success. I had expected a degree of cynicisim given that we have been here before with various projects, but the sheer number of local people who took the time and trouble to participate in the workshops and discussions over the three day period was staggering. The end results revealed imaginative, innovative, and original design concepts which would transform the landscape of Girvan.
“The challenge now is to translate these ideas into a practical reality and this will take time, a great deal of money and a lot of effort, but it can be done and the formation of the “ Town Team “ is a critical first step on this journey.”
Councillor Oattes added: “I thoroughly enjoyed the final presentation by the charrette team, which points the way ahead for Girvan and South Carrick.
“Obviously we have to be realistic as this is a long-term vision and masterplan. However, what has been set out here will make a wonderful difference.”
South Carrick Community Leisure chairman Andrew Sinclair added: “The people of Girvan and South Carrick know how much potential this area has and it’s really exciting to see how our ideas and visions for that potential have taken shape within the masterplan. It truly is our vision for our town.
“I’m particularly pleased that the next steps will be taken forward through the Town Team with active participation and involvement from the local community, giving us real ownership of our future. That’s exactly what we want.”
Girvan Community Council chairman Alex Clark said: “It’s wonderful to see the people of our town come up with our vision, which provides a clear route map for the future. The improvements set out won’t just make a difference to the current residents, they will provide a legacy for the future and firmly put Girvan and South Carrick on the map.”
Charles Campion from JTP concluded: “I was delighted to see such a positive reaction to the and hope the community can see how we’ve used their comments, ideas, suggestions and feedback to come up with their vision for Girvan. I look forward to seeing the transformation the town and its citizens deserve.”
The first meeting of the Town Team will take place in Girvan community centre at 7pm on Thursday March 29. Everyone is welcome to come along and all those who attended the Girvan charrette events will be invited to take part.