AMBITIOUS regeneration plans for Ardrossan are continuing to move forward despite the challenging world-wide economic conditions.
The £170m packages of works for town are seen as being as the most exciting the area has ever seen.
Much of the work – new Education campus, marine, residential and commercial development – will take place on the former Shell Oil site and Full Council approved the plans at a meeting on September 2020.
Despite challenges with the procurement process – to secure a contractor to carry out essential remediation works on the site – North Ayrshire Council remains confident a range of developments will take place over the coming years.
It was initially anticipated that remediation works would commence on site in Spring 2022 with a view to completion in 2023 to align with the construction works of the Ardrossan Campus which is due to for completion in January 2025.
However, the Cabinet report explains the issues behind the delays in securing a contractor to carry out work and how these can be overcome. A new procurement process will need to be carried out.
A delay to the Campus opening is now inevitable but a new plan is being put in place that will help the Council overcome the construction challenges that are affecting large-scale projects across the country.
The report also explains how Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) – who provide 50% of the funding for the new Campus – are involved in discussions and remain supportive and understanding of the challenges currently facing North Ayrshire Council.
Councillor Tony Gurney, Cabinet Member for Economy and Climate Change, said: “Everyone is aware of the unique challenges right now. The highly challenging environment including contractors being very selective in projects that they bid for, skills shortages, volatility in the price of materials, uncertainty in supply chains, global market uncertainties and construction inflation have undoubtedly played a part in this particular tender process.
“We have held really positive discussions with SFT and we will explore various options and ascertain the best route forward.
“There are always bumps on the road in projects of this scale but we are very confident these can be overcome. We look forward to sharing more information over the coming weeks.”
A detailed update with further information on timescales and when work will commence will be provided in November.