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Masterplan move to transform Irvine harbour

Words: Roger Milne
Irvine Harbour / Shutterstock_1333899620

Preparatory work for a masterplan designed to transform Irvine’s harbourside was set in motion this week. A cabinet meeting of North Ayrshire Council agreed on the move, which will see the council collaborate with key landowner NPL Estates.

The initiative – called the Great Harbour – is part of a key Ayrshire Growth Deal objective to improve the area’s tourist potential.

Proposed are new berths, upgraded slipways, work with the Maritime Museum to create a new visitor attraction, the refurbishment of the existing Big Idea building, an all-weather free play facility, and a harbourside hotel and restaurant. Also on the cards would be high-quality waterfront housing to complement the planned social housing.

Following on from these developments are longer-term plans for the Ardeer peninsula, which could include a new road bridge and other infrastructure, a holiday resort, an industrial hub for major industrial and engineering processes, and possibly more housing.

Alex Gallagher, cabinet member for the economy, said: “This is a tremendous long-term plan and a huge investment in Irvine harbourside. We will be working very closely with our partners, NPL Estates. If we are successful in unlocking the potential of the harbourside we can then go on to fully realise the enormous possibilities inherent in the Ardeer Peninsula.”

A report to the council’s cabinet stressed: “Irvine Harbourside has huge potential given the combination of its natural estuary/Clyde location with some of the most superb coastal views in Scotland, proximity to Glasgow and the central belt, an already established maritime presence and space to expand.

“It is already a recognised visitor destination with around 60,000 visitors a year enjoying Scotland’s National Maritime Museum and is home to nationally award-winning artisan food and drink producers and outlets.”

Image credit | Shutterstock