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Scottish Women's National Team Player Erin Cuthbert opens £5.4m sports facilities in Irvine

Posted on 8 Oct 2019

Scottish Women’s National Team player Erin Cuthbert (21) launched the Circuit – Irvine’s newest sports facility.

Originally from Irvine, Scottish footballer Erin - who plays for Chelsea - was joined by Councillor Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council, and officials from the Scottish Government, KA Leisure and Ashleigh Construction at the photocall on Monday.

The fantastic new facility, based at Quarry Road, Irvine, will be a massive asset to North Ayrshire.  The town centre site, which was previously under utilised and partially derelict, has been 4 years in development.  Over £8m has being invested in over 2 phases of build with half the funding secured from external funding bodies. The new sport and business facilities will help increase town centre footfall and support improvements to sporting and health outcomes locally. 

Guests were invited to take a tour of the new sports facilities, which include a full-size 3G outdoor pitch for football, 9 a-side 3G indoor pitch to allow all-weather training, and a 750m closed cycle loop. During the tour, the party got to see the pitches being played on by a Street League team.  Street League supports local unemployed young people with life skills to help prepare them for work.

Erin Cuthbert said: “I feel really proud to open such an amazing complex in the town where I grew up. I think it’s so important for young kids to have access to these top class facilities. I’m excited to come back and watch some matches here in the near future.”

Councillor Joe Cullinane, Leader of the Council, said: “I would like to thank Erin for taking the time of our her busy schedule to open the Circuit.  She is a great example to young people and has been a credit to the area with her success on the pitch and her work in the media off the pitch. She has been a big part of the growth in the women's game we have seen in recent years and with facilities like these that is something we can play a part in developing further.

“Since opening, we have received really positive feedback from local groups who use the facilities and I have no doubt the Circuit will continue to successfully grow.”

The facilities were completed in August.  KA Leisure operate the facilities and take bookings for the football pitches.  The cycling facilities are free and open for use.

The cycling facilities are complemented by the new Active Travel Hub, which opened earlier this summer and offers travel advice and bike hire at The Trinity and training opportunities at the Circuit closed cycle loop.

Libby Cairns, Chief Executive of KA Leisure, said: “KA Leisure appreciate the opportunity to operate another fantastic, new leisure facility in North Ayrshire. Since opening, interest in the new facility has been very positive. The facilities at the Circuit will enable KA Leisure to further develop our work with local clubs and strengthen our existing partnership with the Scottish Football Association.”     

To book the new sporting facilities call KA Leisure on 01294 315133.

The Circuit Enterprise Hub represents the first phase of development. This is an incubation facility for small local businesses who aspire to grow and take on their own premises within a 12-month period.  It offers subsidised office accommodation for up to 12 new and ambitious early-stage growth businesses with access to business support through the Council’s Business Team that are located in the new offices.

The name the Circuit came from consultation with schools, community groups and staff and reflects the site’s former use as a dog track and new use as a sporting venue. The business team also liked the name as they regularly have sparks of ideas – leading us again to circuits but this time of the electrical variety.

In addition to the Council’s investment in the facility, funding was secured from Scottish Government, European Regional Development Fund, Sustrans and the Landfill Tax Credit Fund.

To find out more about the incubation space call 01294 449944 or email business@north-ayrshire.gov.uk