Council announce exciting plans for education in Three Towns
Posted on 10 Jan 2019
NORTH Ayrshire Council has outlined ambitious plans that will transform the learning opportunities for young people in Ardrossan and the Three Towns.
These exciting proposals - which would see Ardrossan Academy and Winton Primary brought together into one facility - are at an early stage.
The Council is hopeful any new development will see education, work related training, further and higher education and employers operating side by side giving pupils clear pathways into employment. It will also play a key part in their overall plans to regenerate the area.
It’s hoped a range of services can be based within the new facility making it a real asset to the whole community.
Elected members are expected to give officers the go-ahead to develop proposals and undertake extensive early engagement with the community and stakeholders at a meeting of Cabinet on Tuesday.
North Ayrshire Council has allocated £31.5 million from its capital plan to replace Ardrossan Academy but are keen to access Scottish Government funding that will allow them take a more innovative approach and bring the development forward.
They are also aware that the Scottish Government – who have recently committed a further £1 billion towards rebuilding schools across Scotland – will be looking for ambitious and creative thinking to secure funding.
The outline plans for the new education and community provision are detailed in the report that goes to Cabinet on Tuesday.
The proposed new facility will be built on the North Shore and will benefit from the anticipated developments for Ardrossan in the Ayrshire Growth Deal which will incorporate an expanded marina facility, marine sciences centre and regeneration of the wider harbour.
The high-quality facility will incorporate a replacement for Ardrossan Academy, a new Winton Primary and a 30-place early learning and childcare facility. It will include high-class health and fitness facilities, including a swimming pool, which will replace those at Auchenharvie Leisure Centre. These would be available to the whole community, while the ice rink would remain at the existing facility.
There is also potential to include a catering standard kitchen which can incorporate a café, while a new campus will embrace e-learning and act as an e-hub to provide teaching, learning and conferencing facilities.
The expected expansion of the marina will provide pupils with unprecedented opportunities to gain real-life opportunities to learn and gain qualifications in a range of associated industries. Talks are planned with the Council’s partners at Ayrshire College to assess the best ways of making this happen.
The arts will be supported through a professional grade theatre, while consideration will be given to relocating Ardrossan Library at the new facility which will give greater opportunity to provide a better resource for both the community and pupils.
Councillor John Bell, Cabinet Member for Education and Youth Employment said: “These plans are hugely ambitious and exciting but it’s important to stress that these are outline proposals. That’s all they are at this stage and we are now looking forward to meeting with the community and stakeholders to discuss them in greater detail.
“This is much, much more than just a new school. This is a new direction and we’re excited about the path we are taking.
“Ardrossan is one of the most deprived areas in Scotland. That’s so disappointing but we are seeing it as an opportunity to spark real change and to make a difference. A like-for-like replacement for Ardrossan Academy would be great but we have to be bold if we want to make a difference and improve the chances for our young people. By creating opportunities for them we can realise the potential of the area.
“We hope to provide opportunities for every type of young person. From those who excel academically to those whose strengths lie in vocational areas.
“Ardrossan is an area that has suffered for a number of years. We need to change that.
“We will consult thoroughly throughout and look forward to developing the plans for this new facility.”