North Ayrshire Council buys Irvine hotel to provide city centre housing

North Ayrshire Council has bought Irvine’s King’s Arms Hotel with the aim of breathing new life into the building.

The High Street building has fallen into disrepair since the pub and restaurant closed down in 2015.

In the current financial climate, there is little prospect of private investment to bring the hotel back into commercial use which means the building is at increased risk of further deterioration.

North Ayrshire Council can now confirm that it has purchased the building from the owners and will look to redevelop it to create much-needed town centre housing.

Councillor Jim Montgomerie, cabinet member for place, said: “The King’s Arms will hold a special place in the hearts of many people, particularly those from the Irvine area who used to frequent it. Sadly, there is little chance in the current economic climate for a commercial enterprise to take over the building.

“Given the key location and its significant deterioration, we undertook option appraisal studies and considered a number of different ways the building could be brought back into use. It was clear that the best fit for the building is to create new homes - this is the most sustainable option which will bring people into the town centre, help support local businesses and enliven the area.

“Not only will this help bring added vitality to the town centre, but it prevents an important building from being completely lost forever.”

Originally dating from the early 19th century, the King’s Arms Hotel is category C Listed building and is located within the Irvine Town Centre Conservation area.

Now that the purchase in complete, the council will draw up proposals to allow for the creation of high quality, affordable and accessible accommodation while respecting the building’s listed status.

The council will investigate possible funding sources from national bodies to help retain as much of the existing building structure as possible and ensure the design is sympathetic to the existing townscape and conservation area setting.

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