Friday, 28 November 2014
Boost for Ayr town centre
AYR town centre is set for a boost after a huge Scottish Government package was awarded to a local regeneration group.
The town's North Hub and Riverside Block areas will feel the benefit of £600,000 handed to Ayr Renaissance as part of the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund on Monday.
Based around the Sandgate and Newmarket Street area, the North Hub has been a long-term strategic base on which Ayr Renaissance has attempted to rejuvenate the town centre.
Running from the old Woolworths to the former Forum centre on High Street, the Riverside Block has also been an area where Ayr Renaissance have looked at revamping.
James Knox (pictured above), Chair of Ayr Renaissance, said: “I’m delighted we have been awarded this funding and that the Government has backed our strategy for Ayr town centre. Hats off to chief executive of AR, David Bell, for presenting such a compelling case.
“The government is providing vital funding which will enable us to address the long-term decline in this historic part of the town centre. We continue to receive very strong support from South Ayrshire Council; however, this award will allow us to deliver our strategy more quickly and comprehensively than we could have previously.
“I would like to thank all those involved in the judging process and I am pleased to see the government backing up their very welcome and strong policy decisions on town centres with hard cash.”
Councillor Bill McIntosh (pictured above), Leader of South Ayrshire Council, added: “Ensuring our town centres are vibrant, attractive and welcoming places is a key priority for the Council and today’s funding will certainly help achieve that for Ayr.
“Crucially, it will allow Ayr Renaissance to progress its plans at a much quicker place, making a difference for our residents and visitors that much sooner and I look forward to seeing that come to fruition.”
The North Hub – once the very heart of the medieval town of Ayr which grew around its port trade and strategically located fortress. Ayr Renaissance is working with the Princes Foundation for Built Community to create a development there that will return that part of the town to its former glory.
The funding will also assist in redeveloping the block of derelict retail units which have come to be known as the Riverside Block, with plans to create accommodation and public space in the town centre in keeping with the historical architecture of the surrounding buildings.
South Ayrshire Council is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.