AYR'S town centre is in line for a huge £20 million funding boost - thanks to news of a major cash injection in Ayrshire from the UK Government.

A total of £37.4 million is to be spent on a joint North and South Ayrshire project to provide 'commercial and low carbon infrastructure' in the area, thanks to 'levelling up' funding from the Westminster government.

And South Ayrshire Council says that as a result of that cash, announced by the UK Government on Monday, £20m of its own funds, which had been set aside for the scheme, will now be spent on transforming the centre of Ayr instead.

The local authority says that while it's yet to decide how the town centre cash will be spent, it's likely that some of it will be used to revitalise the southern entrance to the town at Burns Statue Square.

The Ayr Town Centre Strategy will go before councillors later this month.

The council had previously allocated the £20m to help improve infrastructure at Prestwick Airport.

But the £37m from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) includes cash for new flexible hangar space at the airport - freeing up the council's own cash for use in the town centre.

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Councillor Martin Dowey, leader of South Ayrshire Council said: “This is great news - £20m gives us plenty of options to make improvements that will help bring people into the town centre.

"We’re set to launch a number of high-profile projects, so this funding is extremely timely.”

Councillor Bob Shields, the authority's portfolio holder for Developing South Ayrshire, said: “I’m delighted that this council funding can now be used to give Ayr town centre a much-needed boost.

"It’s time to make our town centre great again and this money will get things moving in the right direction.”

The £37.4 million for North and South Ayrshire - the second largest funding award for any single project in Monday's announcement - will be used to create new commercial buildings, better cycling and walking routes, and more electric vehicle charge points across the two council areas.

A total of £1 billion is to be spent on 55 projects across the UK, according to the DLUHC announcement.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said:  “Levelling Up means delivering local’s people’s priorities and bringing transformational change in communities that have, for too long, been overlooked and undervalued.

“This funding sits alongside our wider initiatives to spread growth, through devolving more money and power out of Westminster to towns and cities, putting in place bespoke interventions to places that need it most, and our long-term plan for towns.”