A number of North Ayrshire Council offices and buildings in Irvine are being reviewed as part of a wide-ranging property exercise.

Elected members are being asked to consider the new proposals for the Irvine locality at a meeting of Cabinet on Tuesday.

The drivers behind the property plans are to better align the Council’s office accommodation to new working patterns since the pandemic, and also help address the financial challenges facing the public sector by reducing property running costs while at the same time reducing carbon emissions across the Council’s estate.

The potential changes would see staff vacating a number of buildings including the Quarry Road office block, Trinity Church, Galt House, Greenwood Conference Centre and Bridgegate House and, in the main, relocating to Cunninghame House. The proposal would then be to explore future uses through a marketing exercise, and, in the case of Bridgegate House and Trinity Church, consider options for those buildings through the emerging plans to re-imagine Irvine’s town centre as part of the recent £20m Long Term Plan for Towns Levelling Up Funding allocation.

The plans would be delivered over several phases, with the full vacation of Bridgegate House as the final phase by January 2027. In the meantime, the Council’s Customer Service Centre and the retail units on the ground floor of Bridgegate House would continue to operate as normal, providing an active frontage within that part of the town centre. Most Council staff would move from the upper floors of the building and relocate to Cunninghame House later this year.

Councillor Tony Gurney, Cabinet Member for Green Environment and Economy, said: “We are taking a proactive approach and already considering next year’s budget and how we best utilise our resources and still provide value for money for our communities.

“It’s clear that working patterns have changed since the pandemic and this is an opportune time to consider the properties we have, our staff, our services and how we can get the best out of what we have.

“Making these changes not only makes sense for staff, but also for financial and environmental reasons, and it gives us wider scope to pursue plans to reshape and transform the town centre. We look forward to speaking with community groups on the re-imagining of the town centre and engaging with them in the coming months.

“A lot of work has been carried out by officers to assess the various options. We propose to continue engaging with staff, and other stakeholders, over the coming months to make detailed preparations for the moves.”