New hub at heart of Fullarton

Work has kicked off on a £2 million project that is set to breathe new life and activity into Fullarton and Harbourside in Irvine.

The Fullarton Community Hub project will protect and enhance community activities and improve key services – such as local healthcare.

The new facility means a GP practice can locate in Fullarton, instead of local people having to make a bus journey to see their doctor.

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The new Hub will replace an existing old community centre which is no longer fit for purpose. The land and current community centre building is owned by Fullarton Community Association, following the first asset transfer by North Ayrshire Council under the recent Community Empowerment legislation.

Partners in the project are Fullarton Community Association, North Ayrshire Council – Community Education, Loudoun-Montgomery Primary School, Ayrshire Healthy Living Network, Fullarton & Harbourside Parish Church, Fullarton & Harbourside Tenants Association, North Ayrshire Federation of Community Associations and Irvine Bay Regeneration Company.

The new facilities will:

  • Create a high quality community hub building with flexible space for community use
  • House an integrated health centre and GP practice
  • Provide a centre for the community to gather and hold events
  • Offer high quality outdoor recreational space, including a multi-use games area and community garden
  • Provide facilities for young people through the provision of a youth club and youth training
  • Secure employment for 17 people during the construction phase and 7 once in operation plus volunteering opportunities for over 100 local people
  • Attract income by letting space to community groups

Donna Fitzpatrick Chair of Fullarton Community Association said: “We are delighted that construction work has started on our long-awaited community hub. We’re looking forward to seeing the positive impact it will have for people living in the Fullarton/Harbourside areas. The new health facilities and GP practice in particular will mean local people can attend appointments within their local community, within walking distance of where they live. The new Hub will be a lifeline to our community, and together with the new muga and community garden, it will allow young and elderly alike to come together on many joint ventures for the future. We are grateful to all our partners who have helped make this project happen, including the Big Lottery, Irvine Bay Regeneration Company, North Ayrshire Council, the Scottish Government, Robertson Trust and North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership, as well as previous committees over past years."

Big Lottery Fund Scotland Director, Maureen McGinn said: “We are delighted to have been a lead partner in the development of this new hub which will create additional social and economic opportunities for local people. Once completed, the centre will help inject new life into the area, engaging people of all ages and providing a range of vital services based around local needs. I wish Fullarton Community Association and everyone involved the best of luck as it marks a major step towards an exciting future for this community.”

Patrick Wiggins, Chief Executive of Irvine Bay Regeneration Company, said: “The new Hub will continue to deliver the existing services plus a range of new services including health services, GP medical practice, job-seeking advice, citizens’ advice, childcare, elderly support, and additional youth services, a training café supported by Ayrshire College and other community activities and events. Overall, the aim is to deliver a joined up approach to health, leisure and social services, raising confidence and making a real difference to every one of the local population of 3000.”

Councillor Louise McPhater, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: "The Association have worked tirelessly to transform their community. They've had setbacks and disappointments but they've never given up so we're thrilled to be standing with them today as they celebrate this amazing milestone. This new facility will be a fantastic resource for the Association and the whole community.

“The plans in place and their vision for the future are incredible. Their drive and enthusiasm has galvanised their community and they’ve got everyone on board.”

The project is supported by the Big Lottery, North Ayrshire Council, Irvine Bay Regeneration Company, Scottish Government, Robertson Trust, and North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership. The Fullarton Community Hub is due for completion Spring 2017.