Tuesday, 11 September 2018
Regeneration of Ayr continues as Ayr Renaissance is wound down
The Administration of South Ayrshire Council has taken the decision to disband Ayr Renaissance.
Staff from the organisation had previously transferred to the Council, and the Ayr Renaissance Board will now be discontinued.
Projects being delivered by Ayr Renaissance will be picked up by the Council, and will continue to support the ongoing regeneration of Ayr Town Centre.
Leader of South Ayrshire Council, Douglas Campbell (pictured above) said: “I would like to thank the Board of Ayr Renaissance for all their hard work and dedication. Since 2009 they have worked alongside the Council, making a big difference to the establishment of an exciting vision for the Ayr.
“We are now at the stage where we can set aside the funds for projects to continue the regeneration of the Town Centre, and we want to know what the wider public think in advance of setting the Council budget in March of next year.
“We’re committed to making the most of the local economy, and having welcoming towns and villages are a big part of that ambition. Town centres which are lived in are much more attractive places to be, so we are looking at changing planning regulations to allow empty shops and businesses to become residential properties.
“Bringing people back into the heart of Ayr Town Centre is vital. and we know that large numbers of people use our swimming pools. The Citadel is nearing the end of its useful life, and we believe there is an opportunity to increase footfall if a new swimming pool were built in the Town Centre.
“We need a new plan for the riverside, as the Council is no longer building an office block. We have taken the decision to disperse staff into buildings we currently own, most of which are in Ayr. In our new plan we propose a small housing development on the riverside following the clearance of land previously earmarked for new Council offices. Our preferred option is to retain much of the land as a public square with prominent views of the Town Hall and the High St.
“The High St could also benefit from new public spaces, and we would also look at making the Fish Cross and the square beside the former Clydesdale Bank much more attractive places to be.
“We are also looking at making more of our streets, are the bus stops in the right places? Should there be more or less street furniture?
“We cannot ignore Burns Statue Square and the need to improve the access to the top of the town. Our intention is to demolish Burns House by 2020, and, should there be a new cinema in the centre of the town, the current cinema may close and this could be the start of a new street design. We are also concerned about the future of the Station Hotel and any new developments at the railway. We keenly await proposals from the owners about the future intentions once the Station Hotel is made safe.
“There is lots going on and it’s an exciting time to be involved in the regeneration of Ayr, but we want more engagement from the public over the coming months, so everyone is involved in building a lasting legacy for Ayr Town Centre.”
South Ayrshire Council is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.