The SNP has called on NAC’s Labour administration to prioritise a new development at Ayrshire College’s campus in Kilwinning.

Work is underway to identify funding for a proposed new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) wing to replace the remote and outdated facilities currently available at the campus’ Nethermains building.

The SNP has said funding was denied during the latest budget negotiations.

This was after Labour proposed £486,674 be given to three projects including £200,000 for Ayrshire College Partnership Development, £132,000 to fix Woodlands Primary’s flooded playing fields and £154,674 for Kilbirnie Cemetery.

The SNP had proposed that the full £486,674 go to Ayrshire College, however the Labour proposal passed following a vote.

SNP councillor Scott Davidson said: “This project would have benefited not just people and businesses in Kilwinning but across all of Ayrshire.

“The STEM building at Nethermains is no longer fit for purpose, and the Ayrshire College Partnership Project would see a modern state of the art building on the actual college grounds. This would allow the current, and future, STEM students to relocate from Nethermains back to the main campus and have the full facilities of the college available to them such as IT services, Library, the Employment Hub, and so on.

“I am fully supportive of this move and will continue to support the Kilwinning Campus to the best of my ability.

“We in the SNP have already attempted to progress this project. Sadly the SNP Capital Budget, including significant funding to kickstart the project, was voted out in a joint move by Labour and Tory councillors.

“The Labour Capital budget, supported by the Tories, saw over a quarter of a million pounds being removed from this project; one that was seen by our SNP group as a project vital to the whole of North Ayrshire.

“As a Kilwinning Councillor I certainly do not want to see my ward losing this kind of investment, however, this is much wider than simply Kilwinning. This development would provide opportunities across the area and is vital for the college’s future.”

The Labour group said: “In February North Ayrshire Labour proposed that the Council support Ayrshire College’s ambition to move construction courses from Nethermains to a new purpose built unit at the Kilwinning Campus. We will invest a minimum of £200,000 in the project.”

Labour group leader Cllr Joe Cullinane said: “It was Labour’s capital budget that proposed delivering a minimum of £200,000 investment to support Ayrshire College’s STEM development and I have had a number of discussions with the College about the project over the last year.

“In addition to the £200,000 for Ayrshire College, Labour’s budget secured funds to resolve the ongoing Woodlands Primary drainage problem – investment the SNP opposed despite a relentless campaign by the school’s parent council and Irvine Community Council for funding.”

“Only in the alternative reality of the North Ayrshire SNP Group would this is an issue to attack Labour over but then again that’s all they offer the people and communities of North Ayrshire - spin and negativity.”