Tuesday, 9 October 2012
South Ayrshire Council Leader Bill McIntosh disappointed at award nomination
The Leader of South Ayrshire Council has said he is disappointed Ayr town centre is one of the first few locations to be nominated for the ‘Plook on the Plinth’ category in the Carbuncle Awards.
The awards were created by Urban Realm magazine to provoke debate about the quality of development in Scotland’s towns and cities and the ‘Plook on the Plinth’ is awarded to the nominated location identified by judges as the most dismal town in Scotland.
Councillor Bill McIntosh (pictured above), Leader of South Ayrshire Council, said: “I’m both surprised and disappointed to learn that Ayr has been nominated for this award. While we fully recognise that there are improvements to be made within our town centre, I believe it’s a considerable stretch to put it forward as one of the most dismal towns in the country.
“Ayr is a fantastic and historical town that offers beautiful award-winning beaches, lovely landmarks and stunning open spaces. It’s home to some of the biggest names on the High Street as well as a thriving and vibrant independent retail sector and benefits from fantastic road and rail links, making it an easily accessible visitor destination.
“The town is also undergoing a transformation thanks to our Ayr Renaissance programme, which is all about revitalising Ayr town centre, and we have been working to ensure the town centre continues as a growing retail and employment location. We’ve undertaken a number of successful initiatives including the refurbishment of vacant retail units, which we have successfully re-let, and the introduction of a civic pride campaign to keep the town centre looking it’s best.
“We’re seeing positive progress in other areas such as a boost to arts and culture with the reopening of the Gaiety Theatre (pictured above) before the end of the year and the final planning stages for the work to transform the historic ‘pink buildings’ (pictured below) at the gateway into the town nearing completion.
“We’re also developing a number of programmes that will continue to revitalise the heart of what we see as a welcoming and friendly town centre and working in partnership to deliver significant investment from the private sector, such as the planned new canopy for Ayr Central shopping centre.
“Alongside this, I’m in the process of finalising the details for a Town Centres Summit, which I will be hosting later in the year as a platform to bring all the relevant parties together to consider how we can develop our town centres across South Ayrshire in this current economic climate as this is a key priority for our Council.
“This nomination undermines the positive work being taken forward in Ayr town centre, not just by the Council, but by private sector landlords, local retailers and residents in Ayr, who are equally committed to enhancing Ayr town centre to be the best it can be.
“We can only hope the judges of the Carbuncle Awards recognise the many positives our town centre has to offer and the ongoing work to make it even better.”
South Ayrshire Council is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.