Residents are being urged to use their voice as North Ayrshire Council get set to launch further engagement on the future provision of public swimming pools in the Three Towns.

North Ayrshire Council is hosting an extensive engagement exercise as they look to make a final recommendation on the make-up of the potential new Ardrossan campus.

As well as four drop-in events, where residents can meet with council officers to discuss the proposals in detail, a survey will be available asking people for their views.

The council is also providing a detailed fact-sheet which will answer some key questions and help inform residents before completing the survey.

In outline proposals, approved by Cabinet in January, the council announced plans to develop the new education and community campus on the vacant North Shore site.

Part of the proposed options for the campus include building a new community swimming pool in the new campus. If this is agreed it will mean the council and KA Leisure no longer operate the swimming pool at ‘Harvies’.

If that decision is made, the council says it will work with residents to see what alternative uses there are for the facility at Harvies.

Council leader Joe Cullinane said: “First of all, I want to thank those from the community including David Rodger, who organised the Harvies petition, who participated on the steering group to agree how this will run. Their input was crucial in ensuring this is an open, inclusive and robust process that provides local people the platform to voice their views.

“From day one I have made it clear that my cabinet and I will listen to the views of local people and act upon them. We have already had a petition, organised by Mr Rodger, running alongside the consultation on the school campus and they combined to give a mixed picture of the communities’ views.

“That’s why, following Mr Rodgers petition, I proposed this standalone engagement exercise on the future provision of a publicly owned swimming pool in the Three Towns and we want as many people as possible to take part.

“I would urge everyone with an interest on this matter to take part. This is the only mechanism that will be used by the Cabinet to determine whether the pool relocates to Ardrossan or stays at Harvies.

“As local people know we are having this debate because we want to secure the long-term future of a publicly owned swimming pool in the Three Towns.

“Harvies needs significant investment in the coming years and the council currently has no budget provision made for this investment. Meanwhile, council officers have built a business case for the much-needed replacement of Ardrossan Academy that could secure Scottish Government funding for an education and community campus that could include a new swimming pool.

Councillor Cullinane added: “However, we recognise that the swimming pool issue is a very important one to the people of the Three Towns. I believe it is too important for a decision to be made by a handful of people and therefore I am clear local people will make this decision through this engagement exercise. I am absolutely committed to this type of participatory democracy – putting local people at the heart of decision making. Whatever way this goes our Cabinet will respond to deliver a new school campus for Ardrossan whilst safeguarding the provision of public swimming in the Three Towns.”

North Ayrshire Council has allocated £31.5 million from its capital plan to replace Ardrossan Academy but are keen to access Scottish Government funding that will allow them to take a more innovative approach and bring the development forward.

They are also aware that the Scottish Government – who have recently committed a further £1 billion towards rebuilding schools across Scotland – will be looking for ambitious and creative thinking to secure funding. They are set to announce the first raft of successful applications in the coming weeks.

The council will take the information from the survey – which can be done online or in traditional paper form - and use that to inform a final decision by Cabinet at the end of September. The Ardrossan campus proposal will then be subject to statutory consultation.

Drop-in events will take place between 11am-1pm and 6pm-8pm at the following venues

Saltcoats Town Hall – August 21

Ardrossan Civic Centre – August 28

Stevenston Library - August 29

Auchenharvie Leisure Centre – September 3 (5pm – 7pm)

The online survey goes live from August 19 and the council will provide details on their social media channels in the coming days. The survey will be open until September 8.