Councillors gave the go-ahead for a new £14.47 million primary and nursery in Irvine. 

North Ayrshire Council want to construct the school in the Montgomerie Park area of the town to cope with demand for school places.

The area of the town could have 950 homes built there eventually.  More than 450 have been constructed so far.

The Irvine East school is due to open in August 2023 but it is expected to take seven years to fill up. 

It will be able to take 342 pupils from the Montgomerie Park and Knadgerhill areas and there will also be a nursery with room for more than 40 younger children. 

The existing catchment for Annick Primary will change to make way for pupils to attend the new school. 

Councillor John Bell, responsible for education, congratulated council staff on attracting external funding during a cabinet meeting on Tuesday. 

Fifty per cent of the money is coming  from the Scottish Future Trust’s Learning Estate Investment Programme.

Councillor Alex Gallagher said developments at Montgomerie Park will bring an economic boost. 

He said: “These housing developments are vital to improve the economy. We need to be able to take new families into the area.”

The Labour politician asked why it will take so long for the school to be fully occupied. 

Senior manager Lynn Taylor said: “The new school would open from August 2023. By that time children from the Montgomerie Park area would largely attend the current catchment school, which is Annick Primary School. Or they may have submitted a placing request to Lawthorn Primary School. 

“Given that they may be at a further stage in their primary career parents may take the choice to retain them at those schools. They may also decide to submit placing requests to those schools for siblings to attend. 

“That will mean the build up of the new school at Montgomerie Park will just take that wee bit longer to get fully established. “

About 83 per cent of people who responded to a consultation on the new school agreed with the plan.

Education Scotland said the proposal is “well considered” and has “clear educational benefits.”

Cabinet agreed to establish the new primary school with an early learning centre and amend the catchment area for Annick Primary School.