A MAN who helped construct much of modern Irvine sadly passed away recently.

Ian Downs, who was chief architect then technical director of Irvine Development Corporation from 1979-1995, died at the age of 80 following a short illness at Ayr Hospital on February 9.

His funeral took place at Masonhill Crematorium, Ayr on Monday.

During his life as an architect Ian held various appointments in the New Towns in Scotland, including Cumbernauld, and Redditch before moving to Irvine. 

In 1979 he moved to the post of Chief Architect and Planning Officer in Irvine and from 1981 was Technical Director where he remained until his retirement. 

Projects undertaken by the Irvine Development Corporation during Ian’s time include the construction of Red Cross House, The Scottish Maritime Museum and the former Skean Dhu Hotel – now the Riverside Lodge Hotel. 

Ian Clarkson, Provost of North Ayrshire, said: “Ian was a really important part of Irvine’s recent history. 

“He was clearly a significant figure in our recent past and I am saddened to hear of his passing.” 

“He was the Chief Architect and involved in many major projects. From the late 1960’s when Irvine was granted new-town status, the town underwent some really radical changes with Ian being at the heart of it.” 

David Mann, Director of Irvine’s Scottish Maritime Museum, said: “It was Ian as Chief Architect who designed the Maritime Museum and ensured it happened. On the dissolution of the IDC and Ian’s retirement he continued as a trustee and was Vice-Chairman. 

“We owe a great deal to Ian for getting us to where we are today.” 

Ian was a husband to Joan, loving father to Nick and the late Helen, adored stepdad, father-in-law and papa.