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Landlocked terracotta leisure centre to rise in the heart of Ayr

December 6 2021

Landlocked terracotta leisure centre to rise in the heart of Ayr

South Ayrshire Council with Hub South West Scotland has finalised plans for a statement leisure centre introducing sport to the heart of Ayr.

The lynchpin of a town centre diversification strategy the modern facility would replace the ageing Citadel, seeding a broader leisure-based economy as part of a broader regeneration initiative to offer a cinema, restaurants and other recreational pursuits.

Situated around the former Hourstons department store the LA Architects designed build will harness the C-listed building as a 'soft' entrance for anyone intimidated by a larger entrance to the landlocked site. Largely obscured by existing street frontages the centre will reach out to Alloway Street via a new public plaza with a double-height glazed facade framed in terracotta.

A glazed colonade will overlook softer garden landscaping to the south. Outlining the proposed design the applicants wrote: "...the form of the new building follows a simple and pared-back approach, expressing the 2-storey volume as an elegantly proportioned box, with a consistent parapet height and strategically placed openings.

"On the north, east and west, these openings are treated as punched holes in a largely solid façade, whilst around the south, the glazing is increased, again to break down the box, and bring light and animation to these public-fronting facades. Along the reception and café frontage, this is expressed as a glazed colonnade and to the entrance as a large framed opening drawing visitors into the building."

Clad in glazed and ribbed terracotta tiles the centre will sit on a brickwork plinth with roof level plant screened by translucent polycarbonate cladding.

The leisure complex is designed to complement the future redevelopment of the Kyle Centre to the north as a cinema complex.  

Landscaping nods to the sites past use as a large garden
Landscaping nods to the sites past use as a large garden
The Arran Mall will be demolished to make way for the build
The Arran Mall will be demolished to make way for the build


#1 Posted by Pleasantfield on 7 Dec 2021 at 13:08 PM
An altogether misguided and ridiculously expensive idea. Costed at over £40million it even fails to replicate what the Citadel already offers in terms of facilities. A Citadel refurbishment would be £8.5million. There is a housing shortage in South Ayrshire and flats would bring people back to the town centre.Over 3500 objected and SAC refused to entertain the petition saying it was non conforming. Typical undemocratic SNP at their very worst.
The design is also pretty incongruous and out of keeping with the area.
Big al
#2 Posted by Big al on 7 Dec 2021 at 17:00 PM
Vanity project. We still need the bottom of the town completed. The road surfaces are atrocious. The Grain Exchange still vacant on upper floors. Lighting on Auld Brig missing. Pavement s with holes and overgrown weeds. Businesses closing by the day on the High Street. Few buses in the evening to go to town centre. I could go on...
Colin Kennedy
#3 Posted by Colin Kennedy on 7 Dec 2021 at 17:54 PM
This is the last thing ayr needs as previous respondants have said ayr High Street is dying, the Kyle centre is empty having never been fully utilised and the flagship ayr central has large empty units especially where Debenham and H&M were
South ayrshire needs affordable housing not leisure centres for a small minority of the local population who would use it
Re vamp the citadel and use the money elsewhere to benefit everyone in ayr
John McGuire
#4 Posted by John McGuire on 7 Dec 2021 at 18:16 PM
First class. Get folk into the town and the spin off for cafes and the wee shops can be a real benefit.
We all cause the demise of the High Street. Every time you shop on line our High Street bleeds so other reasons to be in the town are crucial.
#5 Posted by cm on 9 Dec 2021 at 11:35 AM
Great! More leisure centers in town centers please, good economic drivers, the future of town centers is leisure-based.

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