• Ayrshire Daily News

Future of Ayr high street - survey results

South Ayrshire Council has revealed the results of the Ayr Your Views consultation which ran until the middle of December last year.

A fantastic 2,700 surveys were completed with 200 people attending drop in events in Ayr Town Hall to have their say on the future of Ayr high street.

The public were asked for their views on three proposals — a new leisure facility to replace the Citadel, new public space at the riverside site, and more residential properties in the high street.

The majority of those taking part in the survey felt the Citadel Leisure Centre should be replaced with a modern facility and if it were to move closer to the town centre, 33% said they would use it more than they do now.

Some of the comments received reflected the age of the Citadel — 'tired', 'old fashioned' 'poor condition' others felt it was 'too remote', 'out of the way' and not on any bus routes.

The proposal for public space at the riverside site across from the town hall received strong support, with 62% of respondents keen to create space which could be used for events, pop-up markets, exhibitions and performances.

The final part of the consultation focused on the current lack of residential property on the high street. 57% supported the idea of converting empty shops and retail space into new homes. 49% of those surveyed also supported a small number of residential units at the riverside site with 26% unsure.

Councillor Brian McGinley, Economy and Culture Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council, said: 

"I would like to thank all those that took part in the consultation, it's important that we continue to work with the public and be responsive to their views.

"I was really encouraged that nearly half of the responses came from young people under the age of 17 which underlines the importance of working together to protect our town centres for future generations.

"Despite the changing nature of our high streets, it's encouraging that 79% of those filling in the survey still visit Ayr Town Centre to shop. This may change in the future, however a modern leisure facility in the heart of the town, regular events and more people living nearby could mean a thriving town centre for many years to come.

"We will continue to engage with the public and key stakeholders throughout and I am looking forward to seeing more detailed proposals in due course."

Based on the results of the consultation, the Council is keen to move to the next stage and draw up an action plan featuring timescales and possible costs.

This will be available to share with the public in March and there will also be more public consultation exercises specific to each project as they move through the design and planning stages.

The full consultation results can be found at www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/ayr-your-viewsExternal link