Investment in schools will play a key part of the Council’s multi-million pound Capital programme over the coming years.
The Capital Budget will deliver a £255million programme of works by 2027/28, supporting investment in buildings, infrastructure and regeneration projects.
And at the heart of the programme is a pledge to ensure North Ayrshire’s children get the best possible start in life.
Changes to the Capital Budget mean that ambitious proposals for a new community campus at Ardrossan will be brought forward three years to 2021/22.
North Ayrshire Council has allocated £31.5 million to replace Ardrossan Academy but are keen to access Scottish Government funding that will allow them take a more innovative approach and bring the development forward.
The proposal would see the development of a multi-purpose community facility in Ardrossan. Plans are still at an early stage and are currently out for pre-consultation which will further inform proposals.
The Council is hopeful the proposed campus will see education, work-related training, further and higher education and employers all operating side by side, giving pupils clear pathways into employment. The project will also play a central part in the regeneration of Ardrossan and the Ayrshire Growth Deal ambitions.
Similarly, multi-million pound proposals for a new primary school at Montgomerie Park in Irvine have been accelerated by two years with a potential starting date for construction in 2020/21.
Approximately £14.3m will be set aside to build the new school and the infrastructure required to support and encourage the ongoing housebuilding programme in the area.
North Ayrshire Council has carried out a number of successful schools projects in recent years, including the acclaimed Garnock Community Campus and the new Largs Campus. Improvement works have also been carried out at other schools including Auchenharvie Academy, Kilwinning Academy and Irvine Royal Academy.
Council Leader Joe Cullinane said:
"Education is key for us and we need to provide the kind of facilities which will give our young people the chance to reach their potential.
“The new school at Montgomerie Park will help reduce pressures on the school rolls in an area which continues to grow, while our ambitions for an innovative and ground-breaking community campus at Ardrossan can set new standards in education - by investing in our school estate, we are making an investment in the future."
The Capital Budget approved by elected members also includes:
An extra £3.6m to help meet the funding requirement for the Ayrshire Growth Deal, bringing North Ayrshire Council’s investment to £12.6m. With similar funding from South and East Ayrshire Councils and £100m each from the Scottish and UK Governments, a total of £240m will be invested in life sciences, tourism, manufacturing and aerospace across Ayrshire.
Additional investment to support a major Flood Protection Scheme in Millport. The total estimated cost of the investment is £27.5m, with the Scottish Government confirming funding of 80 per cent (£22m) and the Council contributing 20 per cent (£5.5m).An additional £2.6m earmarked for the maintenance of North Ayrshire’s bridges infrastructure.
Separate from the Capital Programme is the Council’s ambitious Strategic Housing Investment Plan which aims to deliver more than 1300 new properties by 2024 – one of the most ambitious Council house building programmes in the UK.
Delivered through the Housing Revenue Account, this will see hundreds of modern, energy-efficient houses built in every locality in North Ayrshire. This year alone, 523 new homes will be under construction through the groundbreaking programme.