In 2019, Scottish Government announced a £50m Town Centre Fund, made available to Scottish local authorities over the financial year 2019/2020.
The aim is to enable local authorities to stimulate and support place based economic investments, which encourage town centres to diversify and flourish.
North Ayrshire has been allocated a £1,418,000 share of the funding. Cabinet agreed to allocate funding of £500,000 to each of Stevenston and Dalry in May 2019.
Other towns to benefit include:
- West Kilbride
What we are spending the funding on
The projects vary in scale and type. These include:
- public realm improvements
- building repair or shopfront improvement grant schemes
- the purchase of problem properties and new community amenities
The diversity of the projects has required collaboration and cross service support. This has assisted with the development and commitment of the funds within the funding timescales.
The final list of projects includes:
- Dalry Building Improvement Grant Scheme (£250,000): to address the poor condition of buildings within the town, several of which are at key entrances and provide a poor impression of the town centre
- Dalry Streetscape Improvements (£130,000): improvement works to provide an improved pedestrian environment, further to the opening of the Dalry bypass and a substantial reduction in traffic numbers
- Dalry Park Improvements (£100,000): to enhance Dalry Park and encourage activity in proximity to the town centre, including refurbishment of park pavilion for community use, path improvements and the provision of a skatepark
- Dalry Christmas Lights (£10,000): contribution to community project for replacement Christmas lights
- Dalry Town Marketing (£10,000): marketing of town as a positive place to live given opening of bypass, and improvement works
- Stevenston Streetscape Improvements (£150,000): improvement works to provide an improved pedestrian environment at New Street by implementing a short one way system, providing wider pavements and additional parking
- Stevenston Mill Dam Route (£150,000): opening and landscaping the overgrown Mill Dam pedestrian route to encourage its use
- Stevenston Beach Park Pavilion (£50,000): grant contribution to community project to build new community space
- Stevenston Shopfront Improvement Scheme (£150,000): grant funding scheme to allow improved appearance and potentially a uniform style of shopfronts in town centre
- Stevenston Site Purchase (£55,000): purchase of a priority site within Stevenston Town Centre
- Kilbirnie Improvement Works (£100,000): purchase of the long-term derelict property of 2 Main Street for improvement of the site, and improvement and heritage works at Garnock Street car park
- West Kilbride Shopfront Improvement Scheme (£75,000): grant funding scheme to allow improved appearance of shopfronts in the town centre
- Beith Main Street Streetscape Improvements (£50,000): contribution to public realm improvements that reflect the traditional character of Main Street
- Kilwinning Building Grant (£40,000): building improvement grant support to redevelop a long-term vacant building
- Irvine Quarry Road (£27,000): pedestrian access improvements to a project which has developed over recent years
- Beith Christmas Lights (£10,000): contribution to community project for replacement Christmas lights
- Irvine Christmas Lights (£12,500): contribution to community project for replacement Christmas lights
- Project coordination costs (£48,000): associated project costs
These projects are at varying stages with design work ongoing. The commitment of funds is required by 31 March 2020. Implementation and construction works will then follow, to be concluded by 30 September 2020.
Building upon recent town centre investment and engagement from local communities through the Town Centre Fund, we are developing a new North Ayrshire Regeneration Delivery Framework. This is being developed in consultation with elected members, on a series of regeneration themes including town centres.
Any future projects or improvements would require additional resource to be identified. We encourage any interested groups or stakeholders to get in touch to discuss how we can collaborate to facilitate the regeneration of our town centres.
For further information on the Town Centre Fund, please email email@example.com