The starting gun has been fired on the new £22.4 million Girvan Primary School as councillors approved plans to begin design work.

South Ayrshire Council’s cabinet approved a contract with Norr Architects on Tuesday, allowing the work to get under way.

Councillor Alec Clark (Independent, Girvan and Carrick South) spoke of his delight at the move, having been a high school pupil there prior to it becoming the primary school.

He said: “I think I speak for myself and the people of Girvan who are absolutely delighted to see the starting gun fired on this.

“It has been a long time coming and is very much welcomed within the community.

“Girvan Primary School, previously the high school and Girvan Academy, is not fit for purpose as a primary school, but it holds a lot of dear memories for residents of Girvan and South Carrick.

“Hopefully in the days to come some will be present to see that. I am very, very happy to support this and give thanks to the team.”

Council leader Martin Dowey asked Cllr Clark whether all of his memories of the school building were good ones.

Laughing, he replied: “I’d say some memories were fond, other memories were a bit more painful.”

The town's new Sacred Heart Primary School has already been built, with Sacred Heart pupils decanted to the current Girvan Primary during construction.

Both new builds followed on from a feasibility study undertaken in 2018, which had looked at the options including a single shared building or separate new builds on the existing sites.

The decision was taken to build two new schools. Pupils from Sacred Heart moved to Girvan Primary in summer 2019, and moved into their new school in October.

There were 327 pupils on the Girvan Primary roll in 2021/22.

The cabinet report states: “The new Girvan Primary School is an approved project within the council’s capital investment programme with a budget of £22.44m over years 23/24 to 25/26.

“It is proposed that the cost of this exercise to provide all services under the Strategic Support Agreement of £175,000 is funded from this budget.”