AN AYR project which aims to tackle loneliness is transforming an empty shop into a new ‘hub’ for the community.

Happy Connections, are taking over an unused retail unit in the Kyle Centre on Wednesday to explore how empty shops could become a valuable space.

Rachel Goldie, project team member, said: “We’re hosting a launch event for community members to find out about what’s going on locally and share their ideas about how to turn an otherwise empty shop into something valuable for the community.

“People in Ayr told us that they want more opportunities to connect with one another in their everyday lives.

“People said that Ayr High Street used to be a ‘hub’, a place to visit, browse the shops and bump into friends and neighbours.

“But now habits are changing and we’re not using our high streets the way we used to. Empty shops have been a cause for concern but they also presents an opportunity to try something different.”

The Happy Connections team are taking over an empty retail unit in the shopping centre and will be using it to host workshops and events and they’re inviting members of the community to join in and use the space too.

“We’ve been talking to organisations, business owners and community members about how they’d like to use the space and we’ve been working together on some exciting ideas. “People have been posting ideas on the window whether it’s for a silent disco or trumpet classes.”

There will free refreshments and opportunities to share ideas and it will run from 10am until 4pm.