South Ayrshire

Prestwick assisted living development wins planning approval

Prestwick extra careMcCarthy & Stone has secured planning permission for an assisted living development at Links Road in Prestwick.

Designed by Holmes Miller, the four storey building contains 69 independent living flats with common facilities including dining and kitchen.

Prestwick extra care 3Former children’s cancer home Malcolm Sargent House will be demolished to make way for the development.

The seafront scheme aims to enable residents to remain living in the local community by offering residents additional support and companionship.

Prestwick extra care 2Douglas Jack, the residential lead at Holmes Miller, said: “This is a fabulous site with views west across the Firth of Clyde with the silhouette of Arran in the background, and north and east to the beautiful Prestwick golf course. We have designed an outward facing bookend to the Prestwick seafront, with generous windows and balconies opening to both views.  Great to see the planning permission granted.”

Green light given as new Queen Margaret Academy reaches financial close

Work is now about to get underway to start building the new Queen Margaret Academy

Work is now about to get underway to start building the new Queen Margaret Academy

Plans to build a new Queen Margaret Academy in Ayr are a step closer with the official contracts now signed after reaching financial close.

South Ayrshire Council is now preparing to move on site to get work underway to deliver the new facility.

The £25 million project will provide places for 800 young people, with modern classrooms, interactive ICT, a large games hall, two gyms, two all-weather pitches, and hard games courts. The building will also house Psychological Services and a Supported Learning Centre, which are already based at QMA.

The new Queen Margaret Academy will be built in the grounds of the existing school and is expected to open in October 2019. The current building will be demolished after the new school opens with the site to be fully landscaped.

The main contractor for the project will be Kier Construction.

Councillor Peter Henderson, portfolio holder for resources and performance, at South Ayrshire Council, said the latest announcement was an important milestone: “We’re committed to providing young people with the best possible start in life, and delivering a first-class education goes a long way to helping achieve that.

“By investing in this significant new building we’re creating a base to transform the way young people are taught, with the replacement school a more flexible space in which to deliver lessons.

“The building and facilities will also be available for community use, which will help make the project an important local hub. With initial work due to start in the next few weeks I look forward to seeing this ambitious new project take shape in the months ahead.”

Michael McBrearty, chief executive of delivery partner, hub South West, said: “The new Queen Margaret Academy is hub South West’s fifth educational collaboration with South Ayrshire Council, having recently completed the new Ayr Academy, innovative modernisation at Marr College in Troon, and new primary schools for Dailly and Tarbolton.

“The new academy will provide a wonderfully modern and inclusive community facility that will provide excellent resources and opportunities for the area.

“We look forward to proceeding to site with contractor Kier Construction in the coming weeks.”

Managing director of Kier Construction’s Scotland & north-east England business, Brian McQuade, said: “We’re proud to continue our relationship with South Ayrshire Council and looking forward to delivering an exciting new project which reinforces our position as a UK leader across education.

“We’ll be on site soon to start to deliver this state-of-the-art teaching, sporting and community facility at Queen Margaret Academy, which will help to support future generations.

“As with all of our activity across Scotland, we will encourage the use of locally based suppliers and subcontractors, bringing economic growth in the area and providing employment and training opportunities for the people of Ayrshire.”

Council unveils £68.5m plan to deliver 1,000 affordable homes across South Ayrshire

Affordable housing at Elba Gardens in Ayr

Affordable housing at Elba Gardens in Ayr

South Ayrshire Council is to work with partners to build approximately 1,000 new social houses over the next five years, its latest Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP) has revealed.

The ambitious building programme will see around £68.5 million spent from 2017 to 2023.

So far, the council has built 233 quality affordable houses to wide acclaim from tenants and local communities. This high standard is set to continue with more efficient and affordable accommodation appearing across South Ayrshire over the five year period, particularly in the high demand areas of Ayr, Prestwick and Troon.

The council and other Registered Social Landlords will continue to work closely with communities and the Health and Social Care Partnership to ensure affordable housing meets the needs of older people as well as those with learning disabilities, mental health issues and people leaving the care sector.

Other priorities for the new housing investment include exceeding current energy efficiency standards and continuing to help tenants reduce their energy bills. The new environmentally friendly homes will also cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Councillor Philip Saxton, housing and customer services portfolio holder, said: “Our affordable housing build programme has been extremely successful with our largest development at Lochside a shining example. This is not just about bricks and mortar; it’s about building communities and ensuring tenants have bright and spacious homes which can be adapted to their needs.

“We will be working closely with our partners to bring new affordable housing to the priority towns of Ayr, Troon and Prestwick, however new housing is also proposed for Girvan and Maybole and I am keen to see more affordable accommodation in rural areas too.

“This is a challenging target that we have set ourselves and our partners however, I am confident that 1,000 additional affordable homes can be delivered by 2023.”

Visitor hub transformation underway at derelict Ayr stables

An artist's impression of how the new visitor hub will look like next to the existing Belleisle Golf Clubhouse

An artist’s impression of how the new visitor hub will look like next to the existing Belleisle Golf Clubhouse

Work to transform the derelict stables at Ayr’s Belleisle Estate into a vibrant visitor hub is now underway.

The £1.3 million project is set to provide flexible community space, a café, facilities for Park Rangers, and public toilets.

The new building will use reclaimed stone and glass to provide a visual transition between Belleisle House, Belleisle Golf Course, and the outstanding environment of the wider estate. It will be powered by a biomass boiler, with rainwater harvested to help reduce energy consumption and running costs.

The initial phase will see reusable stone sifted from the site for later use as part of the new centre.

The work is part of a wider programme at Belleisle Estate, which has benefited from investment of around £5m in the last three years, which has seen visitor numbers double to 200,000 as a result.

Councillor Peter Henderson, South Ayrshire Council’s portfolio holder for resources and performance, said the latest development would provide a new focal point for visitors: “Belleisle has been transformed in recent years with investment helping to double the number of visitors and improve the Estate’s appeal.

“With progress already seen with the refurbishment of the Conservatory, the creation of the new Golf Clubhouse, and the wider improvements to paths and landscaping, the next stage will see a fantastic new visitor hub created that will maintain the momentum.

“By creating an environment that responds to the needs of our communities and visitors alike we aim to attract even more people to enjoy the estate in future. I look forward to the main construction stage getting underway next year, when the old stable block will be reborn for the next generation.”

The main construction stage of the new building is expected to start March 2018.

Plans submitted for Prestwick care home

Prestwick extra careRetirement home builder McCarthy & Stone is seeking planning permission for a 69-apartment extra care accommodation block in Prestwick.

Under the plans, former children’s cancer home Malcolm Sargent House will be demolished to make way for the development.

Designed by Holmes Miller to cater for the frail elderly, the seafront scheme aims to enable residents to remain living in the local community by offering residents additional support and companionship.

Prestwick extra care 2The application follows a three month consultation with local residents and community representatives earlier this year, including a public exhibition which was attended by 54 people. Of those providing feedback, over half (54%) supported the proposal, while 89% felt more specialist accommodation for elderly people was needed locally.

As a direct result of the consultation McCarthy & Stone made several changes to the application. This includes a more traditional finish, with the predominant material now being cast stone and light coloured render. Some brick will be retained to create feature panels. The north-west corner of the building has been made bolder by adding a raised parapet and wraparound corner feature balconies.

In response to concerns about the proximity of the neighbouring golf course, the layout of the building has been changed from an L to a T shape to safeguard the proposed development and Golf Club from exposure to any errant golf shots. A new landscaped area has been created as a result, increasing the amenity space and visual aesthetics of the development.

Prestwick extra care 3Russ Stewart, development director of McCarthy & Stone in Scotland, said: “We’ve addressed comments raised at the consultation and have made changes to the proposal as a direct result of feedback.

“The proposed development provides a fantastic opportunity for a high quality development, in a highly sustainable location, which will cater for the changing needs of Ayrshire’s elderly population and provide a substantial investment into the local economy. It is pleasing that the proposed Extra Care facility will maintain the historical care use established on site and provide wider social and health benefits to residents and the community.

“We have aimed to make the best use of the site and maximise amenity space, while protecting the neighbouring properties through the positioning of the building, windows and balconies, which ensures there is no direct overlooking of the adjacent townhouses.

“McCarthy & Stone is committed to consulting with the local community and we would like to thank everyone who attended the consultation events and gave us their views.”

hub South West delivers £25m Ayr Academy building

Ayr AcademyA new Ayr Academy secondary school is set to open later this month after being delivered by Kier Construction and hub South West Scotland on behalf of South Ayrshire Council.

Ayr Academy, whose origins can be traced back to 1233 but did not come to be known by its present name until 1796, has moved to the Craigie Estate from its former location in the town’s Fort Street.

The new Ayr Campus will cater for 1,000 school students, with the capacity for a further 300, and will create a modern and inclusive facility where students can learn in a sustainable and well-designed environment.

The £25 million project is a part of a £94m pipeline being delivered by the authority across South Ayrshire in the next 18 months with the aim of enhancing standards through targeted investment.

Ayr AcademyDuring its construction the new Ayr Academy was used as a part of hub South West’s bespoke programme, ‘Your Future starts in Construction’, during which it collaborated with the Prince’s Trust and Ayrshire College to enable local youngsters to gain work experience on a live site and achieve a unique accreditation.

Ayr Academy was the first project in Scotland to reach financial close post European System of Accounts (ESA 10) resolution in January 2016.

Michael McBrearty, chief executive of hub South West, said: “Ayr Academy Campus is a wonderful state-of-the-art facility that I’m sure all students and teachers will enjoy.

“It is the latest project we have delivered on behalf of South Ayrshire Council over the past twelve months and is great tribute to partnership working that we can now celebrate the finished result. The new campus will be a great asset.”

Ayr AcademyBrian McQuade, managing director of Kier Construction’s Scotland and North-East England business, said: “We are pleased to have delivered this leading, modern Academy with fantastic new sports facilities for students and the wider community to enjoy, building on our track record of delivering quality schools throughout Scotland.

“Through hub South West, we have worked with local suppliers and SME’s to ensure that the project boosts the local economy of Ayr and the surrounding area, including training and employment opportunities. During the construction of Ayr Academy we have created 17 work placements, 16 apprenticeships and two graduated traineeships, giving local young people valuable experience of working in this thriving and rewarding industry.”

Contractor appointed for anchor development at Ayr’s Riverside Block

Ayr Riverside BlockPlans to kick-start the regeneration of an historic part of Ayr town centre have taken a major step forward with the appointment of a contractor and design team to develop new office accommodation at the Riverside Block.

Morgan Sindall have been appointed as the project’s Tier 1 contractor, while architects Keppie Design, who were employed to provide the original designs for the new offices, have also been appointed as design consultants.

Ayr Renaissance submitted a masterplan for a mixed development between High Street and the River Ayr last year. This includes provision for quality office accommodation and housing, as well as for niche retail units, cafes, restaurants and public spaces. The masterplan sets out a commitment to top quality design to an overall scale that respects the surrounding conservation area.

With demolition of the existing site now well advanced, the South Ayrshire Council is now moving ahead with its plans for a new modern office development that will eventually house around 350 workers. The final design will respond to the requirements of the masterplan and incorporate active space which can be used outside of normal office hours.

Councillor Peter Henderson, South Ayrshire Council’s portfolio holder for resources and performance, said it was encouraging to see the development gather momentum.

He added: “With the contractor and design team now in place we can start to bring together concrete plans to breathe new life into this landmark project.

“Work on site is already making a real difference to the local landscape with the old buildings on High Street now largely demolished, revealing the true scale of the project that will, in time, transform an historic area of Ayr’s town centre.

“The council block is the anchor development for the wider plan, and I look forward to seeing further progress in the coming months as construction work gets underway.”

Stuart Parker, Morgan Sindall’s managing director of construction in Scotland, added: “Having been appointed as a Tier One contractor on the hub South West framework last year, we’re obviously very proud that the first project we’ve been selected to deliver through it is such a significant one.

“South Ayrshire Council’s ambitious masterplan is set to transform the town centre, providing much-needed regeneration. As the anchor development, the commercial office space will be sympathetic to Ayr’s historic architecture, while providing a modern workplace to support 350 jobs. It will also be the foundation for subsequent retail, residential and outdoor space which will play an important role in the town’s future, and be enjoyed for generations to come.”

Michael McBrearty, chief executive of hub South West, the development partner on the project, said: “The Ayr Riverside Office Development will symbolise a new era in the history and future development of the town.

“This is the first such infrastructure construction contract to be awarded to Morgan Sindall since it joined hub south West’s Tier 1 contractors supply chain as a Tier 1 contractor last year.”

Work is expected to begin in spring 2018, following the conclusion of demolition and archaeological works.

UWS gains approval in principle for Keppie designed residential masterplan

P15-273_160222_3Dc.psdThe University of the West of Scotland (UWS) has secured planning permission in principle for 102 residential dwellings at its Craigie Campus in Ayr.

The masterplan by Keppie Design has been highly commended by South Ayrshire Council and Ayrshire Roads Alliance for its interpretation of the latest Scottish Government design guidance; Creating Places, Designing Streets and National Roads Development Guide.

P15-273_160222_3Db.psdThe masterplan contains a mixture of high quality detached, semi-detached and terraced dwellings, surrounding a central shared activity space, providing a focal point and meeting place for all residents.

The aim being to create a safe and desirable people-focused community of landscape and buildings, where the streetscape is not dominated by vehicles.

Location Plan SmallThe next step for the project is to engage with house builders and developers to ensure that the principles of the design are carried through to completion.

David Ross, design director at Keppie Design, said: “We are delighted to have assisted our Clients in securing this extremely important approval. Our wider knowledge of the campus context and of the potential market was a significant factor in its development.”

P15-273_160307_Site Plan.psdKevin Stewart, project architect at Keppie Design, added: “The relationship between people, dwellings and circulation was fundamental to the success of the design from the outset. Our aim is to help form a vibrant community through considered design, which has been achieved due to our ongoing close working relationship with the project stakeholders.”

akp Scotland selected to deliver South Ayrshire primary school

10114572583_3264e2a474_bSouth Ayrshire Council has appointed akp Scotland to complete the major refurbishment and alterations of Kingcase Primary School in Prestwick.

The project is programmed to commence mid-April with completion mid-August. The works involve internal alterations to the upper wing, the central circle areas, hall, activity stage and adjacent corridors.

External works will include the re-roofing of the upper wing, hall and remedial works. Alteration works will take place within the P4-7 wing.

Phase 2 will include alterations to the remaining areas of the P4-7 wing, including to the main corridor network and ancillary rooms, concluding with the refurbishment of the staff toilets to form ambulant WC, and the refurbishment of the hall and activity stage.

Martin Rowley, akp Scotland joint managing director, said; “akp have built a strong track record delivering within the Education and Early Childhood Sectors having recently completed extensions of Cairns and Lainshaw Early Childhood Centres based in Kilmarnock and Stewarton respectively, along with the recent award of Newland Nursery for The Glasgow Academy.

“In addition to the operational experience of the akp team delivering projects within education and nursery environments, we also have a focus and commitment to ensuring community benefits and CSR initiatives are delivered with a fun and forward thinking approach.”

Girvan leisure centre completed ahead of schedule

WP_20170324_10_38_25_Prohub South West has handed over a purpose built community leisure centre to South Carrick Community Leisure (SCCL) in Girvan.

The Quay Zone, a £5.4 million sports and leisure facility looking out over the much-loved Girvan seafront, was completed ahead of schedule, and is to be operated by SCCL on behalf of South Ayrshire Council.

Due for an April opening, the new facility will provide much-needed leisure and community facilities across the area, including a gym, flexible multipurpose studio spaces, a 25m swimming pool, soft play area, community space and a café.

The Quay Zone’s name and logo were chosen by way of competition, which was won by Ballantrae resident, Robert Whittington. Robert, a gardener at Glennapp Castle Hotel, won a free year’s membership at the flagship facility.

Michael McBrearty, chief executive of hub South West, said: “The handover of this long-awaited leisure centre is a momentous occasion for the communities of Girvan and South Carrick.

“As a multi-purpose development, enhanced wonderfully by stunning views of the Ailsa Craig, the Quay Zone will offer members and families a warm and welcoming atmosphere as well as access to the very best leisure facilities.

“It will be fantastic to see local residents enjoying all the Quay Zone has to offer once it opens its doors this spring.”

Ken Johnstone, chair of SCCL, said: “We are very excited about taking on our new role as the operators of the Quay Zone and are gearing up to get everything going now we have the keys.

“We’ve come this far together and I know we can really make this work, so be sure to get on board and help us put Girvan, South Carrick and the Quay Zone well and truly on the map.”

Additional funding for the facility has come from a variety of sources, including SportScotland and the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, the William Grant Foundation and the Hadyard Hill Community Benefit Fund.