A FORMER care home in Saltcoats has been officially confirmed as the location for a national drug rehabilitation centre set to open this summer.

The building in Canal Street, which has lain empty since the Seabank nursing home closed in 2018, will be repurposed as Scotland’s first dedicated service for families affected by a parent’s mental health, drug and alcohol problems.

Addiction recovery charity, Phoenix Futures, has now acquired the site and said it is “committed to engaging with the local community” to explain how the facility will benefit the Three Towns.

Lyndsey Wilson-Hague, head of operations for the charity in Scotland, said: “Phoenix was established 50 years ago as a charity specialising in providing registered care home services.

“We are committed to being good neighbours wherever we operate and we have a strong track record in supporting the communities in which we operate.

“We look forward to talking to local residents to help them understand what we do and we will listen to them.

READ MORE: Councillor's call to pause drug rehab centre plans for residents' views

"We will work hard to resolve any concerns they may have, while setting out how we will contribute positively to the local community.”

Plans for the national rehab centre were announced by the Scottish Government last August in response to the country’s rising drug death crisis.

The new facility will support up to 20 families at a time, offering treatment programmes, training and advice.

Around 30 jobs are set to be created including specialist counsellors, support workers and childcare workers, with North Ayrshire described by Phoenix Futures as an “ideal location” for the service due to the region’s “collaborative multi-agency approaches to child protection, mental health and addiction services”.

Families who attend the service will generally stay for three to six months on pre-arranged placements during which they will be provided with a peaceful and structured therapeutic programme in a drug and alcohol-free environment.

Concerns had previously been raised over the facility’s close proximity to Auchenharvie Academy, sheltered housing and Saltcoats Group Practice.

North Ayrshire Council issued a certificate of lawfulness for a change of use of the building late last year, deciding that planning permission was not required as the property used to be a care home.

READ MORE: Saltcoats rehab centre 'smells like done deal' says councillor after complaints