Contractor appointed for anchor development at Ayr’s Riverside Block
Plans 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.