The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Monday, 17 March 2008

Scottish minister praises economic regeneration
plans for Ayrshire’s Irvine Bay

By: Our Own Correspondent

SCOTTISH Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Nicola Sturgeon reinforced the Scottish Government’s commitment to the regeneration of Irvine Bay in Ayrshire when she addressed Irvine Bay Regeneration Company’s first Annual Public Meeting today (Tuesday 18 March 2008).

[Pictured left to right: Campbell Whyte, Speyroc; Patrick Sheridan, director, Urban Splash; Tom Bloxham, chairman, Urban Splash; Patrick Wiggins, chief executive, Irvine Bay Regeneration Company; Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister; John McCormick, member of Irvine Bay Regeneration Company board; Alexander Haig, managing director, Speyroc; Arthur Watson, development manager, Irvine Bay Regeneration Company. CLICK ON ANY IMAGE ON THIS PAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]

The meeting, the first public meeting Irvine Bay Regeneration Company has held since it was established just over one year ago, was attended by over 300 local residents, businesses, community groups and officials at the Gailes Hotel, Irvine.

The regeneration of Irvine Bay is set to bring new investment to five of North Ayrshire’s towns. Irvine Bay Regeneration Company is focused upon creating physical and economic improvements to the towns of Irvine, Kilwinning, Ardrossan, Saltcoats and Stevenston that will create new job opportunities, improve the quality of life and provide opportunities for future economic growth.

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Nicola Sturgeon said: “The Scottish Government is committed to the continued regeneration of Irvine Bay. We are working closely with the regeneration company as they finalise the exciting plans for the area.

“We are determined to ensure that local people can take advantage of the opportunities created by the new investment in the area and we look forward to working with the regeneration company, local partners and the community as their vision for the area is turned into reality.”

As the regeneration of Irvine Bay gathers momentum, Irvine Bay Regeneration Company chief executive Patrick Wiggins (pictured above) said: “Our vision for Irvine Bay is to create places where people will thrive, business will flourish and communities will grow.”

At the meeting Speyroc Ltd was announced as the preferred developer to create prestigious modern office accommodation at Annickbank on the edge of Irvine (see artist's impression above).

Patrick Wiggins said: “This development will stimulate business and employment, creating a valuable asset for Irvine which will attract interest both from existing companies wishing to expand and from new companies wanting to set up in the area.

“Speyroc’s scheme was selected for its building design, layout and sustainability proposals. Speyroc Ltd has experience in developing similar types of office buildings elsewhere in and around Glasgow and will bring a wealth of experience to this development.”

Speyroc managing director Alexander Haig said: “Research has shown a shortage of smaller, new office units available for both sale and lease in the area. The space has therefore been designed to be flexible both in terms of the size of tenant and the fit out required.

“Our recent Torus office building in East Kilbride achieved BREEAM* Very Good status and we are committed to build and improve on that project at Annickbank.”

Over a number of years the development will deliver around 8,000 sq m of office space on this six acre site.

Only last week Irvine Bay Regeneration Company announced Urban Splash, one of the UK’s leading developers, as its preferred partner to deliver a £70 million development set to lead the regeneration of Irvine on the west coast of Scotland.

The development is on an 11 acre site at the harbourside of the former Scottish New Town. A new community is planned consisting of some 300 homes, many affordable for first-time buyers, shops, leisure facilities and commercial workspaces, expected to create some 100 construction jobs and on completion around 160 permanent and part-time jobs.

Urban Splash chairman Tom Bloxham addressed the meeting: “We think that by focusing on quality architecture, creating a strong sense of place and by working in partnership with Irvine Bay and North Ayrshire Council, we can deliver a mixed-use scheme that will help transform Irvine into a great place where people will want to live and work."

As regeneration plans for the town centres in the area are being developed, Patrick Wiggins urged local communities to become involved in the consultation process: “We want to make sure that, as much as possible, people can make their own contribution to the improvements planned in their neighbourhoods.

“Consultation with local residents, businesses and public agencies will continue over the coming months. Make sure you get involved to help shape the regeneration of your towns.”

The Irvine Bay Regeneration Company, one of six URCs set up in partnership with the Scottish Government, has an ambitious twelve-year plan to breathe new life into the Ayrshire coastal towns of Irvine, Ardrossan, Saltcoats, Stevenston and the abbey town of Kilwinning.

All five towns lie just 30 minutes drive from Glasgow, and fringe 14 miles of the stunning west coast of Scotland. All towns have railway stations and lie just 30 minutes from Glasgow and 15 minutes from Prestwick airports. Ardrossan is the ferry port to the island of Arran.

* The BREEAM standard seeks to minimise energy consumption and reduce waste in construction. This includes using materials supplied from renewable sources; using pre-fabrication to reduce on-site waste; specifying materials with a high recycled or re-used content; sourcing materials that are accredited from sustainable sources and which minimise the environmental impact of manufacturing; and, sourcing materials locally to reduce transport emissions.

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