Plans launched for transformation of Irvine Harbour into national tourist destination

PLANS to transform Irvine Harbourside into a ‘major’ Scottish visitor destination have been unveiled by North Ayrshire Council.

The local authority aims to create a ‘maritime mile’ from the town’s train station to the Beach Park, in a bid to ‘reinvigorate’ the area through the creation of a ‘unique’ coastal experience for visitors and opening access to the waterfront setting and revitalised harbour.

The proposals would see the creation of three hubs on Maritime Mile:

  • A coastal hub with a ‘major’ new play facility at the Beach Park and improved outdoor facilities with longer term plans for the landmark Pilot House and a café/restaurant facility.
  • A marina/arts/events/food hub which would feature a new waterfront plaza help to support events and give better access to marina, additional food offerings to make the area even more of a destination for its food offer to visitors, and the redevelopment of the Harbourmaster’s House.
  • a maritime hub which would aim to create expanded facilities for the National Maritime Museum.

Councillor Joe Cullinane, leader of North Ayrshire Council, said, “These bold and exciting proposals are still in the development stage but we can see how they are taking shape and the potential benefits they will bring to one of our most scenic locations in North Ayrshire.

“This is about creating a destination which will not only attract new visitors to this part of North Ayrshire, but it’s about creating one which residents can use, enjoy and be proud of.

“As well as building on Irvine’s historical past through the creation of a Maritime Mile, it’s about looking to the future and creating a must-visit tourist destination which will bring massive benefits for years to come and additional visitors to North Ayrshire.

“The creation of a maritime mile is just to the first step towards unlocking the amazing potential of the Great Harbour.”