• Ayrshire Daily News

First building is demolished as part of regenerating Ayr Town Centre

Plans to breathe new life in to Ayr's historic town centre were approved by South Ayrshire Council in February.

The masterplan sets a vision for a high quality mixed-use development including quality office accommodation as well as space for niche retail units, cafes, restaurants and public engagement. The plan sets out a commitment to top quality design sympathetic to existing historic buildings and the surrounding conservation area.

It's been over two months demolition contractors have been on site carrying out works which involves the removal of all internal fixtures and fittings, followed by the demolition.

The first building was demolished on Sunday (23rd April 2017), of what used to be the old Watt Brothers store.

It used to look like this...

It now looks like this...

Ayr Renaissance posted to Facebook: "Demolition of the first buildings at Riverside is expected to start imminently. Heavy machinery will arrive on site this Sunday morning and commence the down takings of the former Watt Bros building to create a flat working area within the site.

"The process of separating the buildings to be retained from those being demolished has also commenced.

"This photo was taken from within the canteen of the former Woolworths building."

Photo: Ayr Renaissance

It's a 40 week contract and includes provision for archaeological investigations to be carried out by Rathmell Archaeology.

In February, James Knox, Chair of Ayr Renaissance said, "We've waited a long time for this day, and I am delighted to see the contractor on site, beginning the preparations for demolition within hours of South Ayrshire Council granting planning consent.

"This is a very complex site to work on; however, we are determined to make progress as fast as possibly so the people of Ayr will see the river from the High Street for the first time in generations.

"We're very excited at the prospect of an archaeological dig which will explore this historic part of Ayr that has lain under concrete for many years."

Bill McIntosh, leader of South Ayrshire Council and AR Board member said, "With the hoardings up and work now getting underway I'm proud to be here to mark the first significant milestone for this ambitious project.

"These positive steps will pave the way to a bustling new quarter in Ayr's historic town centre, breathing new life into the area and bringing people back to the riverside.

"Locals and visitors alike will soon see visible signs of progress as the old buildings come down, with the Council's flagship office accommodation project helping to kick-start regeneration plans and bringing benefits to the wider South Ayrshire economy."