STAFF working at the Citadel Leisure Centre in Ayr are being asked for their views on how best to revamp the building as plans continue to take shape for its future.

A revamp of the popular but ageing facility has been on the cards ever since South Ayrshire's Conservative group seized control of the authority after the May 2022 council elections.

The Conservatives had made it a key plank of their election manifesto to scrap plans for a brand new leisure centre at the former Hourstons and Arran Mall site in the town centre, which had been approved by the previous SNP administration, on grounds of cost, and to focus on the Citadel instead.

South Ayrshire Council's and leisure development specialist, Alliance Leisure, are looking to develop the concept design proposals for the popular sport and leisure facility that is used by around 300,000 people each year. 

Built as a swimming pool from 1969-72, it was extended in the 1990s with additional leisure facilities and opened as the Citadel in 1997.

The Alliance Leisure team is also carrying out comprehensive facility surveys which will help to shape the future of the centre, bringing new and improved facilities to sport and leisure members and others who use the building.

Along with Alliance Leisure, the council is gathering feedback from staff at the centre who have hands-on knowledge of the facility.

Following this, the council will begin to engage with our customers to share progress on the Citadel proposals.

Paul Woodford, Alliance Leisure's strategic engagement director, said: "Since our appointment in November 2023, Alliance Leisure has been leading a project team in developing concept design proposals and conducting comprehensive facility surveys.

"Currently, our team is actively engaging with sport and leisure staff to gather feedback, ensuring that the development not only meets, but exceeds expectations by incorporating insights directly from those with hands-on experience at the Citadel."

Councillor Brian Connolly, South Ayrshire Council's portfolio holder for sport and leisure, said: "The Citadel has been at the heart of our sport and leisure offering for decades, with generations of families in Ayr and the wider community using the much-loved facility.

"I'm delighted we're now seeking the views of our teams who work from the building and look forward to seeing this form part of the wider proposals for the centre."

Councillor Martin Kilbride, portfolio holder for buildings and environment, added: "It's great to see progress in the planning stage of the redevelopment of the Citadel Leisure Centre.

"This will help us to form options to ensure our investment secures its place as a modern, accessible sport and leisure facility for our members and customers."