FUNDING has been secured to help link regeneration work in Irvine with the town’s beach and coastline.
Irvine Bay Regeneration Company has been awarded a grant of £90,000 under the UK Government’s Coastal Communities Grant programme. The project will be delivered partnership with North Ayrshire Council.
The grant will fund works to improve beach access at Irvine Harbourside.
Patrick Wiggins, chief executive of Irvine Bay Regeneration Company, said: “This new funding will pay for part of our work to improve access and connectivity to the beaches as part of the Coastal Park. The funding is for a two-year programme of works which will see the creation of new broad steps from the car park on to the sands at Irvine Harbourside plus work to improve and paint benches and railings along the harbourside working with the local community.
“In addition, the project will create training places for local unemployed young people.”
Marion Francis, Project manager, said: “I am delighted that we have been awarded this funding for Irvine Harbourside. Irvine Bay and North Ayrshire Council have worked closely together on this project. The funding will be a catalyst to other local initiatives, and the improved beach access will encourage more people to visit Irvine Harbourside and appreciate the wonderful beaches scenery.”
The work at Irvine Bay was one of the first nineteen Scottish projects to share a multi-million pound fund to regenerate coastal communities announced by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Rt Hon Danny Alexander. The projects were selected on the basis that they would promote sustainable economic growth and jobs in their communities, and offer training or innovative business opportunities for the local area.
Charities, small businesses and apprentice schemes from around Scotland receive grants between £50,000 and £375,000 from the Coastal Communities Fund. The UK-wide scheme was announced last year to support the economic development of coastal areas across the country. Projects in Scotland bid for a share of a pot worth nearly £4 million this year.
Councillor Marie Burns, Cabinet Member for Economy and Employment, said: “One of our main priorities is to make the best use of our existing assets.
“North Ayrshire has stunning and diverse coastline and has the potential to attract more visitors. This programme of works in Irvine will help to highlight the area as a visitor destination, while instilling pride in the local community and providing some much needed training for young people.”