Work to transform Irvine town centre will start next month.

North Ayrshire Council has confirmed that contractors Maclay Civil Engineering will begin on June 4 with works scheduled to last approximately 18 months.

Construction will be carried out in a phased and controlled way which will minimise the impact on businesses and the public as much as possible.

The first phase of the 'Public Realms' project – starting on June 4 – will lead to a section of the road on High Street North from just before Eglinton Street being closed for around five weeks to allow for essential drainage works.

The construction team will then start on the pavement at High Street North – which won’t cause any road closures – focusing on small sections at a time.

Work will be undertaken at the Vennels, Bank Street and High Street South and is expected to be complete by the end of 2019.

Works will stop during Marymass and also throughout December to ensure minimal disrupttion during the busy Christmas period.

Concentrating on improving the roads and pavements, the project aims to respect the historic town centre environment while also providing attractive public realm areas.

This is aimed to complement the recent transformation of Bridgegate, Townhouse and Portal by creating a more attractive and accessible town centre.

The flow of traffic will be maintained while improvements are made to enhance the pedestrian experience, including better pavements, improved crossing points and incorporating design aspects which reflect the town’s rich heritage.

Councillor Alex Gallagher, Cabinet Member for Economies, said: “We have worked closely with Maclay’s, SPT and all our partners to try and make this as smooth a project as possible.

“The improvements will focus on a small area at a time and when complete, the team will move to another section. It’s envisaged that we will only be outside a particular business or shop for just a few days."

The contractors will be based within a unit in the Bridgegate and will be available to speak to businesses and residents to provide regular updates.

Talks are ongoing with SPT and Stagecoach to ensure suitable temporary bus stops and routes are provided when necessary.