TWO acres of land are being sold off by North Ayrshire Council (NAC) to allow a new factory unit to be established in Irvine.

The move was agreed at a recent meeting of the council's cabinet.

Councillors agreed to approve the proposal for the sale of two acres of land at the Strategic Investment Campus (SIC), subject to appropriate conditions to System Five Off Site.

Five Off Site Limited is a company established by local firm RDK Construction Ltd who require land for the development of a new factory unit for the construction of modular accommodation.

The sale would proceed at a recommended market value of £20,000, and the company has estimated that 11 jobs would be created initially.

NAC purchased the SIC site from Scottish Enterprise in 2015. It has an overall area of 205 acres (83 ha) with a 600m long spine road dissecting the site into northern and southern areas.

The site has previously benefited from a £7 million investment in access, site services and platforming by the former Irvine Bay Regeneration Company.

The investment campus has the potential to accommodate major inward investment enquiries.

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The wider ambitions and strategy for the site are currently being developed through the preparation of a site masterplan, which is at an advanced stage of development, and a strategic framework, which will accompany the masterplan, setting out strategic aspirations for the site.

The company estimates that 11 new jobs will be created initially with approximately 22 by year three, as well as protecting existing jobs and offering new training opportunities. The facility would focus on creating net zero energy buildings and would supply RDK Construction Ltd who currently have pipeline projects in North Ayrshire.

RDK Construction’s business activity was previously housed at Sharphill Industrial Estate, Saltcoats.

Most of the land was sold to Cunninghame Housing Association, who recently submitted a proposal of application notice for the site in April 2022. Part of the area has been retained by Robert Ryan Homes Ltd (the same owners of RDK Construction) and has planning consent for commercial development.

However, RDK Construction has advised they now consider that the Saltcoats site is not suitable for their proposal, in relation to its levels and costs involved to address this, or suitable for their growth ambitions. 

They are currently running a small operation from Ardeer, but are keen to have a bespoke, purpose-built operation, hence their interest in the SIC.