A CREATIVE arts project has secured a permanent location to make it a three-storey arts hub in Ayr.

FreshAyr Community Interest Company (CIC) aims to transform the declining retail industry in the town, and make creativity and expression a way that people engage with the High Street.

The Ayr Advertiser reported last year that the project’s Bread lab was well on its way to success and funding ideas by selling artisan bread. Now, a three-storey premises on 58 High Street in Ayr has been secured which will enable the arts lab to launch this month.

Project founder, Robert Singer said: “Ayr has lost its place, as a market town and tourist destination. Long gone are the factories, fisheries and agricultural markets of the past, even retail is failing.

“There is a serious pressing need to rethink the way people engage with High Streets. FreshAyr CIC advocates arts as a creative regenerative force and we are very excited to be launching in March.

“We want to establish a cultural and social hub in Ayr which can become a self-sustaining business, supporting artists in the creation of an arts and culture ‘scene’ in Ayr.

“Annually, significant numbers of young people from Ayrshire gain places on degree level creative education courses across Scotland. The ‘terminal decline’ of town centres, highlighted in the Mary Portas’ 2011 review, is in no small measure aggravated by places like Ayr’s cultural capital being usurped by cities - lured by vibrancy and, above all, commercial opportunities in the flourishing creative industries.

“A number of problems are identified with the decline of town centres and ailing communities and there is no single answer as to how regeneration of people and place can be achieved. What is becoming evident is that it requires creative collaboration across many areas of interest, informed by evidence-based research. Above all, involvement with local communities must be a priority of creative regeneration.”

The project believes the new premises will be only the beginning to an ‘art driven’ High Street.