Work on a top Irvine sports facility is well advanced - almost a year after the project was set in motion.

The Irvine Locality Partnership (ILP) successfully teamed up with Irvine Tennis Community (ITC) to secure £100,000 in community investment funding from North Ayrshire Council last summer.

The community sports club’s proposal asked for the cash to develop the sporting centre in Thornhouse Avenue – approved by the council – as part of a community asset transfer.

The transfer of ownership to the tennis club supports ILP’s priorities of improving community facilities, challenging poverty and encouraging residents to lead healthier, happier and active lives.

A surface upgrade is now under way at the courts.

Installation of ground works has begun, including drainage, ducting and power cables. Fencing alterations are being carried out to comply with minimum court size regulations.

There will be a new tarmac surface with possibility of astro finish depending on grant applications.

ITC spokesperson Chris McKinnon said: “We are pleased with the progress.

“Right now the surface is red ash. We are removing that and having an asphalt surface and possibly an astroturf surface on top of the asphalt if we have enough money. We will be open for play in the middle of June.

“The red ash surface is outdated and it’s very difficult to maintain. It cannot be played on after heavy rain falls.

“It also requires several hours of maintenance compared to asphalt or astro every week and it requires two to three weeks to get it ready for play after the winter.

“There are also costs associated with the maintenance.”

Depute council leader Shaun Macaulay, who helped organise the community asset transfer, said: “I am delighted to see the latest developments at Irvine tennis courts.

“The investment was agreed by North Ayrshire Council last year and it’s great to see this vision is now turning into reality.

“Well done to all involved in the club to get to this point. I am looking forward to seeing the courts buzzing with life this summer, with keen tennis players of all abilities from across Irvine.”