Countess Street, Saltcoats

The regeneration of Countess Street will create an attractive gateway to the town's shopping area.

Irvine Bay and North Ayrshire Council are working in partnership to deliver renewed and revitalised public realm at Countess Street in Saltcoats.

The aim of the regeneration project is to create new improved public areas with high quality paving, seating and lighting. 

The redevelopment is expected to encourage people to visit and boost the economy of Saltcoats. The project is now onsite and will be completed in April 2017.

The story of Countess Street

Countess Street is one of the key public spaces in Saltcoats. Around 150m in length, it runs north to south, connecting the town’s main railway station at Vernon Street to the town’s main retail street (Dockhead Street). This ‘gateway’ street includes a mixture of retail, office, leisure and residential uses.

The street was the subject of a limited public realm improvement scheme in the 1980s which produced a series of shared spaces and mix of street furniture. This has not stood the test of time and the area now requires significant improvement to support the wider regeneration programme within the area.

Saltcoats Town Hall

Countess Street is home to Saltcoats’ Town Hall which has been a key feature of the street since the 1890s. The Town Hall is currently undergoing a £3.7m redevelopment, creating a new community and civic hub. The regeneration of Countess Street will complement the Town Hall project, creating an attractive setting for events such as weddings to be held in the Town Hall. 

About the project

Following a competitive process, Austin-Smith:Lord have been appointed to lead the design team.

Construction work started late in 2016 and the project is expected to be completed in the Spring of 2017. Care will be taken throughout the redevelopment works to minimise disruption to local businesses and the functioning of the new Town Hall as a wedding and events venue.

The project has now been handed over to North Ayrshire Council to be completed.

The objectives of this project are to:

  • re-emphasise the role Countess Street plays in linking the railway station and the main retail area and wider seafront area of Saltcoats
  • present a high quality, innovative design solution which reflects and supports future commercial and social activities and associated movements (pedestrian and vehicular) within the area, in particular the redeveloped Saltcoats Town Hall; and
  • build upon the success of the initial phase of regeneration activity undertaken within the Saltcoats station area.

Wider impacts

  • increase direct pedestrian movement between Saltcoats railway station and the main town centre area
  • increase commercial activity within the locale
  • improve pedestrian movement and infrastructure within Countess Street
  • improve both the visual and physical environment within the locale

 Strategic context

In January of 2007, Irvine Bay produced a visionary masterplan for Irvine Bay. In support of the delivery of the masterplan a series of Town Regeneration Plans were prepared. These plans provide the strategic delivery framework for key regeneration activity within each of the five towns which make up the Irvine Bay area. This project contributes to the delivery of the Saltcoats Town Regeneration Plan.