Town centre funding battle

Lottery funding has been secured for a major refurbishment of Maybole town centre.
Lottery funding has been secured for a major refurbishment of Maybole town centre.

South Ayrshire councillors have moaned about the bulk of a £1 million grant going to Ayr.

They  complained about £750,000 from the £1.06 million Scottish Government Town Centre fund being poured into the town to help finance the newly unveiled Ayr Town Centre Strategy and Action Plan.

Politicians questioned why it was automatically directed to South Ayrshire’s biggest town without debate.

Speaking at the council’s leadership panel last week Troon councillor Philip Saxton said: “Ayr is a large town. We have to remember there are other towns in South Ayrshire. I think members should have a say on this.”

Council director Donald Gillies said there are hopes the money would attract match funding. It is yet to be decided where the remaining cash from the Town Centre Fund Grant Allocation will be spent but the amount, which sits at over £300,000, will definitely be splashed on towns other than Ayr.

Councillor Saxton said the money could be put to good use in Troon and wading into the complaints, Councillor William Grant said his town, Maybole, faces a funding shortfall for regeneration. Despite landing a £1.67 million National Lottery grant more money is needed to restore its historic High Street.

The leadership panel approved the £750,000 for the Ayr town centre project when they met last week. They also discussed the Ayr town centre strategy and action plan which is now out for public consultation.