THE current Kilbirnie Local Housing Office will be converted into three high-quality flats designed to help the needs of the elderly.

Councillors agreed the proposals at a Cabinet meeting last Tuesday and the new amenity homes will cost approximately £275,000 and with the council receiving a Scottish Government grant subsidy of £137,500 to help develop the plans.

The refurbishment of the property is expected to start in the autumn and be complete by spring 2019.

The proposed development will comprise of a one-bedroom ground floor property and two upper floor two-bedroom homes. The upper floor will be serviced by a passenger lift.

Councillor Jim Montgomerie, Cabinet Member for Place, said: “Our Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP) 2018-2023 was approved last year and a key priority is to regenerate our towns and to provide first-class accommodation for older people.

“This refurbishment of the Housing Office will contribute to the regeneration of Kilbirnie Town Centre and also ensure that the building remains occupied. It will also provide excellent facilities and add to the housing stock available for the elderly across North Ayrshire.”

The Kilbirnie Housing Office currently accommodates 23 members of staff, eight of whom work within the Housing Office and 15 within the Welfare Reform Advice Team.

The Welfare Reform Advice Team provide services to tenants across North Ayrshire and will relocate to the Three Towns Housing Office in Saltcoats Town Hall with no impact on access to the service or quality. The Kilbirnie Housing Office staff will move to the Garnock Valley Area Centre when work starts in autumn 2018.