Irvine’s King’s Arms Hotel has been granted £600,000 as part of North Ayrshire Council’s plan to bring “vitality back into the town centre.”

The former hotel will be made into six affordable one and two bedroom homes thanks to the funding boost.

The council was awarded the money through the Scottish Government’s Vacant and Derelict Land Investment Programme – with redevelopment work now expected to start later this year.

Councillor Tony Gurney, Cabinet Member for Place, said: “We’re delighted to receive funding for what will be a landmark housing project.

“The King’s Arms is a well-known building in Irvine town centre’s conservation zone but sadly its condition has deteriorated significantly since falling out of use.

“By transforming the building, not only will an important landmark be preserved, but it will offer much-needed new homes and bring added vitality back into the town centre.”

Originating in the 1800s, the category-C listed High Street building – which then functioned as a bar and restaurant - closed in 2015 and has remained derelict ever since.

North Ayrshire Council purchased the site in 2020 with plans to transform the building.

The council are aiming to reduce the level of energy consumption associated with reconstruction projects and will be using resources such as air source heat pumps and solar panels for the project.

Community Wealth Minister, Tom Arthur, said: “The transformation of the King’s Arms Hotel will benefit the wider community in Irvine by revitalising a significant and prominent town centre building.

“The Vacant and Derelict Land Investment Programme helps attract investment to locations which have lain dormant for years, and which need it most.

“It also supports low carbon developments, helping Scotland reach net zero by 2045 and grow an economy that is greener, fairer and more prosperous.

“The development of low carbon affordable homes on this site exemplifies this and I look forward to seeing the completed project.”

The draft and final plans for the site have been shared through community consultation sessions and there are plans for a ‘meet the builder’ event once a contractor is appointed.