Home   Council   Performance and spending   Benchmarking   Culture and leisure services performance

Culture and leisure services performance

The Connected Communities service is part of the Economy and Communities Directorate. It includes Information and Culture, Community Development and Participation and Empowerment services. These services add value to people's lives through:

  • leading the development of the Locality community planning approach, with a focus on creating equality
  • community empowerment and capacity building
  • contributing to inclusive growth through community economic development
  • supporting community asset transfer
  • Participatory Budgeting
  • Libraries
  • Culture and the Arts
  • Heritage Museums
  • Eglinton Country Park
  • Adult learning
  • Youth Services
  • Community Empowerment
  • Active Schools 
  • Outdoor Learning at the Arran Outdoor Education Centre

Leisure Services are provided by partners KA Leisure, and include:

  • leisure centres
  • KA school sports campuses
  • golf courses
  • sports development
  • physical activity and health improvement programmes in conjunction with NHS Ayrshire & Arran.

These services offer opportunities for lifelong learning, support wider achievement with young people, cultural and digital participation, life-enriching volunteering, participation in sports and physical activity, developing local community sports clubs and link strategically to employability, tourism, community and individual development and the health and wellbeing agenda.

Our performance

Customer satisfaction

  • satisfaction with our libraries is consistently high and in the top Local Government Benchmarking Framework (LGBF) quartile, with satisfaction ranked 2nd in Scotland at 92% during 2013-16
  • satisfaction with our museums and galleries has decreased by almost 10% to 76% in 2013-16 (source LGBF), this is above the Scottish average of 74%
  • satisfaction with leisure facilities has fallen from 81% to 75%, slightly below the Scottish average in 2013-16 (source LGBF)
  • satisfaction with parks and open spaces has reduced from just under 90% in 2012-15 to 85% in 2013-16, in line with the Scottish average (source LGBF) 
  • 96.5% of participants recorded an improvement in knowledge and skills as a result of participation in adult learning programmes during 2015/16.


  • library costs per visit have remained in the top quartile and are currently the 4th lowest in Scotland (source LGBF)
  • the cost per visit to museums and galleries is the lowest in Scotland for 2015/16 (source LGBF)
  • costs per attendance at sports facilities have decreased and are now the second lowest in Scotland for 2015/16 (source LGBF)

Compare our performance, against other councils, on the My Local Council website.

Steps to improvement

  • the Portal, a new leisure centre in Irvine, was completed and opened in February 2017.
  • Garnock Community Campus opened in January 2017.
  • swimming and changing facilities were upgraded at Vikingar in late 2016.
  • the Townhouse Cultural Centre (including museum and galley exhibits) will open in spring 2017
  • we have reviewed and re-established a number of our community councils.
  • following consultation, we have reduced library opening hours and aligned them to our customer needs.
  • we have invested in digital services to increase convenience for customers
  • we use methods such as Lean Six Sigma and Kaizen Blitz to analyse our processes and improve their efficiency.

How to get involved

The introduction of Locality Partnerships is empowering local communities to improve services and develop opportunities. The approach is regarded as best practice and is based on engagement and consultation with communities as outlined in the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015. 

The Community Planning Partnership website contains details on the six localities in North Ayrshire with information about how to become involved in your Locality Partnership or Community Council.