Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has encouraged South Ayrshire Council to bid again for levelling up funds.

South Ayrshire missed out on £20m funding for leisure and regeneration plans, including the refurbishment of the Citadel and other town centre works.

Mr Jack told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that he actively encouraged South Ayrshire Council to ‘fine tune’ its bid and return for the third round of the levelling up scheme.

He said: “There is another round coming, so they should look at their bid and fine tune it.

“I would absolutely encourage them to do that as I would with any local authorities who missed out today.

“A number of those who were successful today, missed out in round one, so absolutely, come back again.”

South Ayrshire Council Leader Martin Dowey said the council would be looking at the reasons for the unsuccessful bid, but insisted that the council was still looking at regeneration without that resource.

He said: “We are disappointed not to receive anything from the levelling up fund round two, and we await the reasons behind the decisions.

“In the meantime, we are set to announce some major regeneration and community focused projects following the setting of the council budget in March.”