Ambitious proposals to help transform Ardrossan Promenade have taken a major step forward.
Funding worth £748,000 has been confirmed from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, helping to revitalise the area and attract visitors.
This will enable Ardrossan Community Development Trust and, its partners including North Ayrshire Council, to progress plans, including the creation of a café, associated kiosk, storage, play area, beach huts and accessible toilet facilities, as well as wider improvements to the promenade and South Beach area. The proposals will be subject to planning approval.
Funding of £250,000 has already been secured from the Big Lottery Fund for the play area, with North Ayrshire Council providing additional funding towards the £1m project.
North Ayrshire Council Leader Joe Cullinane said: “We’re delighted to have been successful in receiving funding from the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund which will help make this vision a reality.
“The transformation of the South Beach area forms an important part of our plans for the wider regeneration for Ardrossan and the Three Towns area, with improvements to the marina, harbour and the new community campus among the many initiatives in the pipeline.
“We want to see the South Beach area become a vibrant seafront destination once again, a place which makes the local residents proud and attracts visitors.”
Scott Mould, Chair of Ardrossan Community Development Trust, said: “News of the successful RCGF bid is fantastic. The Development Trust were incorporated in 2019 to take ideas generated by the residents of Ardrossan identified in the 3 Towns Charrette and other engagement produced through the former Our Place project. Our Place had ring fenced just under £250,000 of Lottery funding for a playpark for Ardrossan which the Trust then applied for and were successful. Through further community engagement, the idea to regenerate the promenade grew, and so did the costs at just over £1m. This successful bid along with the Lottery Funds now ensures we have the funds required.
“The pandemic of the last few years has been tough for everyone. Despite this, we have collectively worked with the community, our partners and North Ayrshire Council to make this happen. There is still work to be done to make this project ‘land’ in Ardrossan in 2022/2023 and from early January we will be ensuring this happens.
“Huge thanks for the amazing support offered by the people of this town, we couldn’t do this without them. Thanks also to our partners, to Cunninghame Housing Association and to North Ayrshire Council for the continued commitment we receive from them under their incredible Community Wealth Building Strategy. Massive thanks from myself and the Board of ACDT, we can’t wait to get started.”
The project will include repurposing the semi-derelict toilet block to create a community café and storage facilities. This will be operated as a community enterprise working with local groups and organisations to deliver the services required by a café wherever feasible. The facility will support the delivery of the beach wheelers and deckchair projects to improve the accessibility of the promenade and shoreline.
The plans also include a dynamic and inclusive destination play area, beach huts for use for community and commercial activities, and accessible toilets.
In addition, the proposals aim to provide facilities for bike parking, bike maintenance and e-bike charging to support active travel to and from the Promenade, through the towns and along the National Cycle Network routes. The Promenade is part of two national long-distance routes – the Ayrshire Coastal Path and National Cycle Network Route 73.
It is hoped the proposed transformation will position the Promenade as an accessible and inclusive destination for local communities, the wider North Ayrshire population and visitors. It will also provide the facilities required to achieve Blue Flag status for South Beach and deliver wider economic benefits through the promotion of the area to day trippers and tourists.
The £748,000 award to North Ayrshire Council and Ardrossan Community Development Trust is one of 22 place-based projects being funded through the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund to tackle inequalities and promote sustainable and inclusive economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.