£1.5 million for Saltcoats and Ardrossan

The regeneration of Saltcoats and Ardrossan took a major step forward this week after funding of almost £1.5 million was secured from a Scottish Government fund.

The funds, £1.45 million in total, have been secured by a “delighted” Irvine Bay Regeneration Company from the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Regeneration Fund, and will go to refurbish key town centre buildings in the two towns.

1 45M For Saltcoats And Ardrossan 1000905

The Government fund is making £60 million available to projects across Scotland this year.

The money makes it possible to develop the former Jack Miller Hotel and the Harbour Bar in Ardrossan as well as the former station building in Saltcoats.

The former Jack Miller Hotel building in Ardrossan will provide office accommodation for businesses in the area. Irvine Bay hopes to provide financial support, as part of a larger private investment, to refurbish the Harbour Bar and bring it back into use as a restaurant and bar to support the developments at the marina.

In Saltcoats, the former station building will be redeveloped to provide retail space or a restaurant and offices.

The new funding signals an important step forward in the regeneration of Ardrossan and Saltcoats town centres. Project teams have been set up, and development on all three projects will begin as soon as possible. The funding must be spent by March 2010.

Commenting on the successful funding application, Baroness Margaret Ford, Chair of Irvine Bay said: “I am delighted to have the support of the Scottish Government to refurbish the Jack Miller building. We promised 2 years ago that we would deal with this eyeshore, and we can now crack on and do exactly that. Bringing this building back to life will make a tremendous difference to the look and feel of Princes Street. And, as a Saltcoats girl, I am as equally excited about the renovation of the old station building.”

Patrick Wiggins, Chief Executive of Irvine Bay added: “The additional grant funding from this new fund demonstrates the Government’s commitment to the regeneration of our town centres and provides a very significant boost for the area. We are delighted to be able to move ahead with these projects so quickly. We will continue to press ahead with other developments in the town centres which will help to attract and grow business activity in the area. There is currently a shortage of good quality office accommodation around Irvine Bay and we are actively seeking to deal with that issue.”

Cunninghame North MSP Kenneth Gibson is pleased with the extra funds: "Town centres are vital to our economic and social prosperity, providing employment and services for local communities. It is important to turn round the fortunes of town centres and help them reach their full potential and support local economies."