First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today officially re-opened historic Saltcoats Town Hall following a £3.77million refurbishment.
And it was a family affair at the event as the First Minister was joined by her mother, Joan Sturgeon, the Provost of North Ayrshire, for the celebrations.
Nicola Sturgeon unveiled a plaque at the historic building to mark its formal re-opening as Council offices and as a first-class events and conference centre.
The First Minister said: “I am delighted to be officially re-opening this familiar North Ayrshire landmark that is now more than 190 years old. The £3.77 million restoration project has brought this building back to life and created not only a great place to work but also a beautiful surrounding for a special occasion.
“Local people were at the heart of this project, which, with the financial support from the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, will help to regenerate the spaces around them. Not only do projects, like this one transform town centres, but they stimulate economic growth, and support and create jobs throughout Scotland.”
The First Minister was greeted by her mother, North Ayrshire Provost Joan Sturgeon, alongside North Ayrshire Council Leader Willie Gibson and North Ayrshire Council Chief Executive Elma Murray.
From there, she was given a tour of the revitalised town hall, speaking to Housing, Customer Services and Health & Social Care staff who are now based in the building.
The First Minister then visited the Harbour Suite where she spoke to Gillian Park, a stained glass window artist, and pupils from Auchenharvie Academy, Stevenston.
The First Minister then made her way into the main Countess Suite where she met guests before unveiling a plaque to formally re-open the town hall.
Council Leader Willie Gibson told guests: “We have a clear vision for what we want North Ayrshire to be – a place where our residents have a strong sense of civic pride and community spirit; where our businesses prosper and young people succeed.
“And I believe this redevelopment of Saltcoats Town Hall fits perfectly into that vision, bringing extra vitality – not to mention jobs – back into the town centre.
“For years, the town hall has been a focal point – the soul of the community – and it will be again thanks to this amazing refurbishment.”
And Peter McNamara, Opposition Leader at North Ayrshire Council, said: “I welcome the refurbishment of Saltcoats Town Hall and I’d like to say thank you to everyone who played a part in its redevelopment.
“The town hall is an iconic building and it is only right that it will continue to play a pivotal role in the town for decades to come.”
Saltcoats Town Hall has undergone extensive redevelopment to accommodate staff from the North Ayrshire Council’s customer contact centre, Housing and Health & Social Care Partnership.
In addition, the refurbishment of the building has also included a dramatic overhaul of spacious main hall, which will be available for civic functions and weddings.
The smaller hall will also be available to hire for wedding ceremonies, with rooms for brides and grooms to ready themselves ahead of the big day.
The town hall was in a state of serious disrepair before North Ayrshire Council and Irvine Bay launched regeneration plans.
After being awarded £1.1million from the joint Scottish Government and COSLA Regeneration Capital Grant Fund and £125,000 from Historic Scotland, the Council committed more than £2.5 million to secure the building’s future.
The town house and steeple date back 190 years to 1826 while the adjoining town hall was added in 1892.