Plans to develop the Ardrossan marina have taken a significant step forward after major funding has been secured to extend its capacity. 

The plans will see around 130 berths added to the marina and forms part of the wider redevelopment of the town. 

Extending capacity at Ardrossan would also reinforce Clyde as a major marine tourism destination.

Last week, North Ayrshire Ventures Trust (NAVT) agreed to provide £800,000 to the ambitious project which forms a part of overall plans for the town.

Councillor Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council, said: “The scale of the regeneration programme, now over £170m, is the largest site investment in the area since the 1970s.

“The plans for the marina form a key part of proposals for Ardrossan so we are delighted to have secured the funding from North Ayrshire Ventures Trust. It will allow us to move forward with this part of what are really aspirational plans for the area.”

The overall estimated cost of the marina project is £8.25m. Funding of £5.5M is to be provided from the Ayrshire Growth Deal, and other sources are being pursued including an application for £750,000 to the Crown Estate Boat Based Tourism fund. 

Proposals to extend the Marina provision at Ardrossan have been in development for a number of years – and most recently the marina extension has been an intrinsic part of the Ayrshire Growth Deal ambitions.

It would also complement and support further onshore development at the proposed North Shore regeneration site which includes the education campus due to start construction in 2022, the IMSE (International Marine Sciences and Environmental Centre) and would help to encourage adjacent commercial and residential development.

It is anticipated that around £170m will be invested in Ardrossan over a five to ten year period – the biggest regeneration programme North Ayrshire has seen in decades.

Councillor Louise McPhater, Cabinet Member for Participatory Budgeting, added: “NAVT are committed to investing in the regeneration of North Ayrshire and are pleased to be supporting this project.

“It has enormous potential and we look forward to seeing how the plans develop.”

Subject to confirmation of the remaining funding and the consents required, it is hoped work could start at the marina in 2023.

NAVT is a council-run grant programme developed to support voluntary, community and social enterprises in the region.

Legacy funding of £2.38M from the Irvine Bay Urban Regeneration Company and Irvine Bay Developments Ltd (IBRC) is retained by NAVT and remains available for expenditure on appropriate regeneration projects.