The cost of a new primary school for Irvine has risen to £23 million - almost £10 million more than first forecast.

The shock figures for the new Mongomerie Park Primary were revealed at a full meeting of North Ayrshire Council by education spokesperson Councillor Shaun Macaulay.

He admitted that an extra £6m has had to be found from the council coffers to pay for the latest increased costs.

Montgomerie Park - which was originally priced at £14m - has been beset with delays since 2019 thanks to Covid and problems in the construction industry.

The primary school is now due to be completed in August next year to ease pressure on neighbouring Lawthorn and Annick primaries, where pupil numbers have shot up due to major housebuilding in the areas.

Councillor Macaulay said: “In relation to Montgomerie Park Primary School, we received the final, market tested construction costs, earlier this year, and these indicated a significant budget deficit.

“A comprehensive review of the tender submission was then swiftly undertaken to identify savings options and reduce the budget gap without compromising the learning environment within this new facility.

“At the council meeting of March 1, the additional required budget allocation of £6.430m was approved and the budget for the new school has now been set at £23.449m."

At the same meeting, Labour councillor Nairn McDonald (Irvine East) said he was concerned that the construction delays were putting pressure on the two neighbouring primaries.

Councillor Macaulay responded: “The education service works closely with planning to monitor housing completions and has carefully considered the present and potential numbers of children in the local area.

"Annick Primary School and Lawthorn Primary School will be able to accommodate existing and projected rolls in line until Montgomerie Park Primary School is open.”

The new non-denominational primary school will accommodate 342 pupils from Montgomerie Park and Knadgerhill in Irvine.

There will also be a nursery for 47 younger children.

More than 450 new homes have been built in the two areas in recent years, with another 500 in the pipeline.