IRVINE Harbourside is set for a massive £200million investment - potentially creating over 2,000 new jobs.

The masterplan for the Irvine Harbourside and Ardeer Peninsula - which includes the former Big Idea site - was revealed today (Thursday, November 17) at a special media launch with within the Big Idea.

And Chinese investors are set to help bring up to a whopping £200million of private investment as part of the mammoth project which aims to breathe new life into the Harbourside.

A deal has been struck between NPL Estates (the owners of the former invention centre), North Ayrshire Council and investors as part of the Ayrshire Growth Deal.

The 15-year plan hopes to bring a raft of new ventures into the Harbourside and Ardeer areas which the Growth Deal partners believe can revitalise the area in the same vein of Irvine Development Corporation in the 70s and 80s

If funding is approved next year, the project could see the creation of:

  • Scotland's largest climbing wall
  • A multi-million pound energy station
  • A marina
  • Luxury housing
  • A Centre Parcs-style holiday village
  • A water facility named the 'Aqua Dome'
  • An iconic road bridge between Ardeer and Irvine

Plans are also afoot to redevelop the former Big Idea site itself which closed in 2003.

The Ardeer Peninsula has a 964 hectares brownfield site where there are plans to develop a new marina and create hundreds of coastal and community houses – that utilise low-cost, sustainable power supplies.  

With the Magnum Leisure Centre set to be demolished, the Growth Deal identified the need for new leisure facilities as well as energy ventures.

The leisure facilities would include potential for Scotland's tallest and longest climbing wall, a new arts venue and an indoor 'Aqua Dome'.

Council Leader Joe Cullinane said: “These proposals are hugely aspirational. The Ayrshire Growth Deal offers us an opportunity to help bring some of these projects to reality and leverage further investment.

“In a time of reduced public sector budgets, the opportunity to bid for significant new funding to deliver on key regeneration projects could help us to deliver on the aims of our refreshed Economic Development and Regeneration Strategy which sets out our mission to have created the most improved economy in Scotland by 2025."

A new car park is also tipped to be built on the site of the former Magnum with assistance provided to the Pilot House regeneration project.

Councillor Cullinane added: “We must be clear that these are evolving plans and things can change but the message behind the plans is that we want to create a buzz and a wow factor for Irvine and Ardeer.

"These plans certainly do that and are very exciting.

“A lot of work has been done to get to this stage and we believe we have set ourselves realistic and achieveable targets. There is so much untapped potential in this area and we are now looking to realise it. The impact these plans will have on the North Ayrshire economy will be huge.”