NORTH Ayrshire Council will next week rubber stamp proposals for Irvine Harbourside – which were first revealed last month as part of the Ayrshire Growth Deal.

The plans – called the Great Harbour – will be heard by the council's Cabinet next week as they start developing one of the key Ayrshire Growth Deal projects.

The proposals featured within the Ayrshire Growth Deal, which was signed by the three Ayrshire councils and both the UK and Scottish governments in March, and at least £14 million has been allocated for development of the Harbourside and Ardeer Peninsula.

Plans were revealed in the Growth Deals' Heads of Terms and these include:

- The creation of a Maritime Mile – from the train station bridge to wooden wharf next to the Irvine Watersports Club – which will provide new berthing facilities and upgrade existing slipways.

- Working with the Maritime Museum to create a new visitor attraction, showcasing the vessels owned by the museum in a new waterfront setting.

- A refurbishment of the Big Idea providing events and creative space. Initial works being proposed will also repair the Inventors Bridge, providing dedicated access to the Big Idea.

- An all-weather barrier free play facility that is unique to the west of Scotland

- Working with private sector partners to develop a quality harbourside hotel and restaurant

- High-quality waterfront housing as a complementary addition to the planned social housing.

The council is looking to focus on the works at the Harbourside first – creating a globally-renowned waterfront location - which would support the second stage of development at the Ardeer peninsula. As well as a road bridge and other road infrastructure, plans for Ardeer include a holiday resort and an industrial hub for major industrial and engineering processes.

The plans involve a partnership with NPL Estates – the owners of much of the land at the Ardeer Peninsula – to help deliver the best possible projects.

As well as owning the land, NPL Estates are also the harbour authority and share a common vision in developing the Irvine side of the harbour as a tourism-related destination of choice.

Councillor Alex Gallagher, Cabinet Member for Economy, said: “This is a tremendous long-term plan and a huge investment in Irvine Harbourside. And the Harbourside is the key to further developments on the Ardeer Peninsula.

“We will be working very closely with our partners, NPL Estates. If we are successful in unlocking the potential of the Harbourside we can then go on to fully realise the enormous possibilities inherent in the Ardeer Peninsula."

The Council and NPL Estates will now carry out further research to help produce a masterplan before moving on to more detailed work on the individual components of the plans.