LOCALS from Ardrossan and Arran had the chance to progress being made on the upgrades to Ardrossan Harbour.

Some 18 months after the announcement that Ardrossan would remain as the mainland port for the Arran and Campbeltown ferries, stakeholders got together to answer any questions that residents had on the ferries and what the investment will mean for them.

The campaign to ensure that the ferry remained in Ardrossan was a long and tiring process but the cross party support for the port was one of the main reasons that North Ayrshire Council and partners managed to enjoy success when then Transport Minister Humza Yousaf announced that it would be staying put.

That cross party theme continued this week when Labour’s Alex Gallagher, the North Ayrshire Council Cabinet Member for Economy, told the Herald: “We’ve been planning and this has been in the background and it is great to get the whole story out to the people of both Arran and Ardrossan so they can see that it isn’t just words, it is actually concrete developments and it would be good as well to get their responses.

“There was quite a good turnout on Arran and the comments were by and large positive so I think it has been very good.

“I think that people will always complain that things are dumped on them and that has been valid in the past but now we try and get early consultation, so that when we come to the actual delivery people know what they are getting.

“It is also a good thing that they can see the council and Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government are all working together to deliver something that is really great for the town of Ardrossan and for the island of Arran.”

The events showcased what would be delivered and the investment in to Ardrossan. These included:

- A new berth and new linkspan for the MV Glen Sannox.

- Upgrading of the berths, ensuring two berths are available.

- A new or comprehensively re-developed Terminal Building.

- New marshalling areas and upgraded car parking with enhanced capacity.

- Improved terminal to rail platform and town centre connections.

Ironside Farrer director Julien Farrer told the Herald: “The steering group have got information, some of it from Calmac, some from CMAL, some from Transport Scotland. All of that is coming in little bits and pieces. We don’t have all the information here and we can’t answer everybody’s questions.

“It is very much an update and we are asking the public how they want us to communicate with them in the future – websites or events like this. We would envisage next year we will have more of the answers, more certainty about the programme and when things are going to happen – that’s what most people want to know.”

The views of the public who attended the events will be taken on board and more updates are expected over the coming months.

You can view the plans here.