Plans to redevelop a run down area of Irvine town centre have taken a major step forward.

North Ayrshire Council discussed the buildings in question - which include former nightclub Ruby Tuesday’s and the old Forum Shopping Centre - during a meeting of the full council on Wednesday, September 13.

A working group tasked with discussing potential avenues to regenerate the run down area have now met on two occasions.

The group is comprised of elected members from the three Irvine wards and representatives from a number of council departments.

Following the meetings, the group identified three initial actions that will be taken.

They are to contact landowners to outline their plans for the properties and let them know about opportunities through the Repurposing Grant.

They say they will also identify and implement short-term improvements to boost the appearance of the properties subject to securing the necessary consents and permissions.

The final step is to develop a high-level feasibility study to consider potential opportunities to repurpose the properties and surrounding area.

As of yet, there has been no contact from the property owners but officers from Regeneration and Protective Services will continue to reach out. 

It was added that contact with Rivergate Shopping Centre hads been positive and is ongoing to identify opportunities of partnership working.

Irvine West Councillor and Depute Leader Shaun Macaulay said: “It is positive to see the work the council are doing to create opportunities to develop Ruby Tuesday’s and that area of the town.

"The report highlighted the working group I’ve been part of that is looking at a range of options for the area, and crucially trying to engage better with the private owners of the buildings.

“We don’t own those buildings but we are doing what we can.

“I see the potential in this area and am determined to do what I can as a local councillor to find a solution for this.

“I know the Irvine community are fully behind the council and support the regeneration of a once vibrant part of the town.”

An update on progress is to be considered at a council meeting later this year.