Ayr town centre action plan approved

The Citadel Leisure centre in Ayr
The Citadel Leisure centre in Ayr

Local Democracy Reporting Service

The leisure centre will be on the Arran Mall site, linking into a potential cinema and restaurants in the Kyle Centre. The Citadel will shut to make way for the new complex, which would include an Olympic class swimming pool.

Public-private partnership Hub South West Scotland are to be appointed to create a business case for the leisure centre.

The vision is for the High Street to be divided into four zones: culture and heritage, leisure and recreation, retail and Burns Statue Square.

South Ayrshire Councillor Brian McGinley said: “It is a good report and a long time coming.”

The plan said: “As a destination, Ayr has much to offer through its history, culture, sports and entertainment venues. At present these are primarily located peripherally and do not directly benefit the centre of the town.”

Bosses have held back on details about the future of Burns Statue Square in the 25 page action plan. It said: “Redevelopment plans for the square are predicated on finding a solution for the Station Hotel and the relocation of the Odeon Cinema. At present the future of these buildings is unknown. It is hoped that the situation will become clearer over the coming months.”

So far the only definite decision for the Square is Burns House will be torn down with employees working there relocated to County Buildings and elsewhere.

Officials have also put forward a proposal aiming to entice people to set up home at the bottom end of the High Street to offset the impact of shops closing. Officials want to work with landlords to convert empty shops into homes or build new housing.

The plan said: “There is an opportunity to introduce a small number of residential units on the Riverside site, a proposal that received support during the `Ayr Your Views’ consultation.”

The new public park on the old Woolworths site could be open by 2021 and the High Street museum open by early next year. The museum will be housed next to the Town Hall on the corner of Sandgate and the High Street and will display some of the South Ayrshire museum 13,000 treasures.

A funding application to Sustrans would spruce up the public space at the bottom of the town, with outdoor furniture, lighting, cycle routes and footpaths if successful.