Work has started to construct a pontoon on the River Ayr to support increased access to watersports for local communities.

The pontoon which will increase opportunities for local people to participate in rowing, canoeing, kayaking and paddle-boarding is supported by South Ayrshire Council Thriving Communities and local partners, including Scottish Rowing, Kyle Kayak Club, The Outdoor Partnership, University of the West of Scotland (UWS) and Ayrshire College.

Those set to benefit from the new facility include a community programme on the River Ayr run by Scottish Rowing in conjunction with Ayrshire College; care experienced groups and young carers from Ayr, Kyle and Belmont Academies, supported by UWS; school and community groups supported by the Council's outdoor learning team; the Outdoor Partnership and Kyle Kayak Club.

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The River Ayr will also host a Scottish Regatta in 2024, linking in with the Scottish Rowing events calendar, and become a 'learn to row' area for communities, as well as talent identification for Scottish Rowing programmes.

South Ayrshire Council director of strategic change and communities, Jane Bradley, said:"The construction of a pontoon on the River Ayr will be a superb asset for local watersports, ensuring participation in a wide range of water based activities is extended to many more people in our communities.

"We are delighted to be working with our partners to bring this facility to our area."

Construction work, which is due to be completed by October 2023, will include secured fencing around the site to ensure public safety.

The project has been primarily funded by South Ayrshire Council and the Place Based Investment Programme.