North Ayrshire libraries could now be set to be saved after fears of closures and relocations.

It is suspected initial plans to relocate libraries in Beith, Saltcoats, Dreghorn and West Kilbride to nearby community centres (Beith Community Centre, Argyle Community Centre, Townend Community Centre and West Kilbride Community Centre) will not go ahead.

The fate of North Ayrshire libraries and other community buildings are in the hands of councillors as their future will be debated at a council meeting next week.

The results of a three-year public consultation into community services will be presented to a meeting of the Full Council on Wednesday, June 9.

A spokesperson from North Ayrshire Council said: "While the majority of proposals put forward attracted support or acceptance by the majority of respondents, in some cases the local community did not support them.

"The case for progressing the community hub approach received broad public support during the consultation.

"If the proposals in the report are accepted, the Council will continue to work in partnership with communities to explore options in relation to increasing community ownership in North Ayrshire in line with the Community Empowerment Act and the Community Wealth Building Strategy."

40 community centres, libraries and halls were originally under threat, with proposals to move, close or relocate services to other nearby facilities.

The council was considering closing Dreghorn Library near Irvine and moving it to Townend Community Centre.

Irvine Library could also be relocated to Bridgegate House under proposals with the building rented out. Meanwhile, bosses were looking at using Springside Library for another function and lending books through click-and-collect services.

They were also looking at community asset transfers for Kilwinning’s Whitehirst Park Community Centre and Woodwynd Hall and Irvine’s Bourtreehill Library.

North Ayrshire Labour group have supported the plans to ensure libraries in Beith, Saltcoats, Dreghorn and West Kilbride will not be closed.

Labour leader Joe Cullinane said: "Residents in these towns expressed their views through the consultation, online petitions and even with a peaceful reading protest outside West Kilbride library, they made it clear they value the existing library service and we will back them to retain that service.

“Wednesday’s Full Council meeting will be the first time that any Councillor has voted on any proposals. Up until now, the proposals put out for consultation have been drawn up by officers following earlier rounds of community engagement as well as the lessons from the Community Hubs during the pandemic. On Wednesday, all 33 elected Councillors will make the decision, not just the 6 members of the Labour Cabinet but we wanted to let local citizens know as early as possible what we will be proposing as a minority administration.”

The consultation into community facilities has been one of the largest ever to be undertaken in North Ayrshire, involving thousands of residents whose views have directly shaped the proposals.

Over the past three years, North Ayrshire Council have carried out three different phases of engagement and consultation with the most recent phase being carried out between March and May this year.