COUNCIL chiefs say they will listen closely to the community when it comes to the regeneration of Ayr town centre.

South Ayrshire Council will formally reveal its ‘vision’ for the area this week.

And the public will be given their chance to air their views around the end of October.

In a report to the full council, the administration laid out its plans - which the Advertiser revealed last month.

It also officially confirmed that the council would not pursue the development of offices at the Riverside and continued to look at plans to replace the Citadel with a new centre ‘closer to amenities’.

The report, which will be put before councillors on Thursday, states : “The particular projects and initiatives which seek to create defined areas which focus on the rich history and heritage, housing, a compact retail and leisure area and improved transport links and civic space within the town.

“The council will not now progress the Riverside site for a new office development and will commence a consultation exercise on the future of this site.

“The early vision for the site would be as high quality, landscaped open space with a square for events and community use that recognises the historic space between the classic old and new Brigs.

“There has been significant public support for any proposal which retains the open aspect to and from the river and creates a public space.

“To enhance and complement the redeveloped Riverside site, there is a desire to reduce the extent of retail space at this historical part of the town and increase residential provision in this location. This will have the double impact of reducing void retail space and improving footfall and activity in the area.

“There will also be the potential for a small number of residential units on the Riverside site if this proves desirable through the public consultation exercise.”

The report focuses on the historic importance of this part of Ayr, with work ongoing to create a space along the harbour which ‘celebrates the rich history, heritage and culture of the area’.

This work is scheduled for completion in summer 2020.

It continues:“To further recognise this important area’s heritage, the intention is to create a small heritage museum in the old shop unit at the corner of Sandgate and High Street that can display and showcase important artefacts of Ayr’s rich heritage.

“Recognising the age and condition of the Citadel Leisure Centre, the council is now keen to provide a new leisure facility to replace it and the potential for revitalisation of the town that this opportunity brings.

“The council is now keen to relocate this facility closer to other amenities.

“ The council is progressing with plans to come out of Burns House and disperse staff elsewhere within Ayr.

“This will allow the demolition of Burns House in 2020 and be a key catalyst project giving the ability to redevelop Burns Statue Square.

“The Station Hotel, however, may be redeveloped and this is being progressed by the Scottish Government taskforce which comprises Transport Scotland, Network Rail and ScotRail.

“More generally, the council is keen to improve the quality of streetscape and public realm throughout Ayr town centre and recognise the different offerings that the bottom, middle and top of the town all have.

“The council is keen to engage with local people, businesses and historical and cultural organisations in developing these proposals and propose a public consultation and the creation of a sounding board for Ayr.”