Council seek views over proposals for education in Three Towns
Posted on 19 Feb 2019
NORTH Ayrshire Council will be gathering opinion on their early proposals for a new educational and community facility in Ardrossan.
The community engagement exercise will take the form of an extensive survey which gives people a chance to provide early views on some of the key issues.
Proposals would see Ardrossan Academy and Winton Primary brought together into one facility within the North Shore area of Ardrossan.
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.
The proposed new facility 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 questionnaire will seek the public’s opinion on the overall plan and issues such as the potential relocation of the swimming pool and fitness suite at Auchenharvie Leisure Centre to make way for a new modern pool at the new development. It will also seek views on relocating Ardrossan Library to the new campus.
The results will then help the Council shape a more detailed plan that will go before Cabinet later this year.
If these proposals are approved by elected members, a further formal consultation process will then take place.
Councillor Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council, said: “We have been clear from the outset that this is an idea and we will genuinely engage with the public and take on board what they are telling us.
“When we approved the initial idea in January we were very much approving a vision and a broad set of proposals. We feel that these are ambitious ideas and have the potential to have a massive impact on our young people and communities.
“What we need now is for the public to express their views in order for us develop a clear and defined set of proposals which meet the aspirations of our communities.
“Whenever there is potential developments of this scale, there will always be debate and some degree of disagreement on the ideas presented. As a Council it’s important that we are as transparent as possible, presenting an idea backed up with the information that local people need to inform their opinion.
“We listened to people when we undertook our consultation exercise into the potential demolition of high rise flats in Irvine and Saltcoats. Our work with the community informed our decisions in both these towns.
“This is another hugely important matter and local people need the opportunity to express their views in an open, transparent and democratic way and we want to listen to those views. The fact we are having an early engagement exercise prior to the statutory consultation underlines our commitment to genuine engagement with our communities.”
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 questionnaire is available online at http://www.northayrshire.community/ardrossanschool/30819/ or can be picked up at local libraries, community centres and Auchenharvie Leisure Centre. You will also be able to find more details about the proposal here.