Work to develop a new leisure centre in Ayr is progressing following South Ayrshire Council’s appointment of hub South West, the construction and infrastructure-focused partnership which operates alongside local Authorities and private sector enterprises in Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway.
Together with Tier 1 contractor, BAM Construction, work will begin on the £35.5m project later in 2021.
The new leisure complex, which is expected to revitalise the town centre by bringing more economic activity into the area, will replace some of the services currently provided by the existing Citadel Leisure Centre located at Ayr Harbour.
Sited in the centre of Ayr, the project will create a major public building for the people of South Ayrshire. The inclusive development will enable people to be more active more often, and will target improvements to the community’s social, mental, and physical wellbeing.
The new facility is to be located on the site of the existing Arran Mall and the former Hourstons department store. Dating from 1896, the historic elements of this building are to be retained and incorporated into the emerging designs.
Michael McBrearty, Chief Executive of hub South West said: “hub South West procured a design team, led by renowned architect Mike Lawless of LA Architects on behalf of South Ayrshire Council to deliver a Strategic Support Services Report, a feasibility study which outlines high level design proposals.
“As a result, hub South West, BAM and its design team have been appointed by South Ayrshire Council to develop the proposals and deliver this innovative new leisure centre for the people of Ayr.
“We have now started the process of public consultation for the project and look forward to hearing a wide-range of views on the design and opinions on what this facility could do for the local community.
“This is hub South West’s second project with BAM following its appointment to the hub South West supply chain in Spring 2020.
“BAM is a company highly experienced in delivering high quality leisure projects and together we are looking forward to giving South Ayrshire residents a new facility of which they can be proud.”
Jim Ward, Regional Director of BAM, said: “This is an imaginative project for Ayr town centre. BAM is delighted to be joining the team as its construction partner.
“We are currently engaging with all parties about the design of the new facilities before we can move onto the construction phase towards the end of the year.
“We will work with the local community in Ayrshire to create great opportunities for jobs and training from this scheme. It is exciting for us to be working with South Ayrshire Council, hub South West and a talented design team and, together, we will create a positive facility for people in Ayr.”
Mike Lawless, Design Lead at LA Architects, said: “This is a real opportunity for the Council, and the whole team, to provide South Ayrshire with a building that can bring beneficial change to people’s lives and help regenerate Ayr.”
Councillor Brian McGinley, South Ayrshire Council’s portfolio holder for resources and performance, said: “I am delighted that we have now appointed a contractor and are able to progress work on this exciting new leisure centre project.
“We want to make South Ayrshire a better place to live for everyone, and I’m sure this will come as welcome news to residents and local businesses as we take further steps towards breathing life back into Ayr town centre.
“This is a major investment in South Ayrshire, and we want to work with the public to get their views on what they would like to see in this eagerly anticipated new facility.
“I should like to encourage as many people as possible to take part in the series of consultations we will run to make sure the new centre is designed to help us all get fit for our future.”