ONE of Ayr’s oldest high street stores will close after over a century of business - resulting in 81 job losses.

Hourstons on Alloway Street told staff yesterday morning they would lose their jobs with the department store closing its doors in the next few weeks.

The popular shop has been one of the busiest stores in Ayr for decades and is another massive blow to Ayr town centre.

This news follows numerous closures in Ayr in recent years and is on the back of an announcement that HMV has gone into administration which will affect jobs in the Ayr Central Shopping Centre store.

South Ayrshire Council leader Douglas Campbell is saddened by the news. He said: "This is a truly heartbreaking day for Ayr town centre and especially for the members of staff who are set to lose their jobs when this iconic store.

"Hourston’s is synonymous with Ayr high street and its loss will be felt throughout South Ayrshire and beyond. This really is a very grim start to the year for the town centre in Ayr.

"Our focus right now is on doing everything we can to support those people who will soon be out of work. Our employability and skills team will be on hand to provide information, advice and support to help identify alternative employment opportunities and try to achieve the best possible outcomes for everyone affected by this difficult situation.

"We do remain committed to delivering on our ambitious plans to transform Ayr town centre and make sure it offers a healthy mix of social, cultural and economic opportunities for local people and visitors; however, there’s no doubt that the bright future we envisage for the town is a good bit duller today with this sad news."