SOUTH Ayrshire Council's leader has insisted the cancellation of the Ayr Leisure Centre plans will not affect the authority's bit for £20 million in Levelling Up funds from the UK Government.

Labour group leader Brian McGinley said he believed the move would scupper the bid, which was submitted at the end of June.

But Conservative council leader Councillor Martin Dowey said that the bid was based on improving leisure facilities in Ayr, rather than the leisure centre project itself.

The UK government has refused to comment on whether the cancellation will affect the bid.

In October 2021, the council’s leadership panel agreed to submit the new leisure centre development as South Ayrshire Council’s bid.

A report to the panel stated: “The development is central to the council’s vision for the regeneration of Ayr town centre and as a project, is an optimum match particularly around demonstrating economic impact, improving health and well-being outcomes and investing in low carbon infrastructure.”

At the time of the submission to the UK Government, Ayr Leisure Centre was still progressing.

Cllr Dowey said that the decision of the UK Government centres on whether South Ayrshire will receive funds, whether the leisure centre was going ahead or not.

A spokesperson for the Levelling Up department would not comment on individual cases.

They said: “Following the bid deadline on August 2, all bids to the second round of the Levelling Up Fund are now being assessed following the robust process set out in our guidance.

“For reasons of fairness, and given the competitive nature of the process, we cannot discuss the specifics of individual bids while they are being evaluated.

“We expect to announce results to this round of the fund before the end of the year.”