FULL plans for the new £80 million Ardrossan school campus have been revealed as a planning application was lodged with North Ayrshire Council.

Supporting documents in the application for the North Shore site reveal a number of concept images for the facility, which currently has a planned opening date of 2026 and is part of the £170m redevelopment of the North Shore area. 

Building work on the campus was originally due to get under way this year, following remediation work at the former Shell Oils site, with a provisional opening date of August 2025.

But that was pushed back after a tendering exercise for enabling works at the site failed to secure a contractor.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Some of the key design features of the proposed campus.

A number of further details, and questions raised by raised by locals, have also been addressed in the detailed plans.

The latest completion date of August 2026 is subject to approval of the planning application and remediation of the 'toxic' land whcih was formerly home to the Shell oil refinery.

The campus - now with an estimated cost of £80.3m - is to include early years, primary and secondary school facilities, replacing the current Winton Primary School and early years classes and Ardrossan Academy.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: A look at where the campus is to be located.

The decision to press ahead with the building of a new campus was made after the current Ardrossan Academy building was deemed "economic life expired and/or at risk of failure", and unsuitable for delivering a 21st-century curriculum, back in 2018.

There are no plans yet for the future of the current Ardrossan Academy site, or that of Winton Primary, though a report says North Ayrshire Council will conduct an 'options appraisal' exercise, looking at sale, redevelopment or repurposing as potential options.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Some of the key design features of the proposed campus.

The plans for the new campus say the building will have room for 35 early years pupils, 220 primary school pupils and 1,200 secondary pupils,  with six, eight and 68 full time equivalent (FTE) staff respectively.

Proposals also include a 200 square metre library with 12 staff, along with five consulting rooms as part of a dedicated space for the North Ayrshire health and social care partnership, capable of accommodating five practitioners and 13 other members of staff.

The campus, which will have attached leisure facilities, is to include a swimming pool complex covering 1,034 square metres, with up to 14 staff on site at any one time.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: A wider look at the campus as a whole.

Inside the school, there will also be facilities for additional support needs learning and an auditotium performance space while outdoor learning landscapes and recreational and growing spaces are also to be created.

This complex will comprise two pools - a main pool 25m x 12.5m in size and a smaller pool with dimensions of 10.5m x 7.5m.

This will replace the current pools at the Harvies Leisure Centre, though documents state that the ice rink and fitness suite at the Stevenston site will be retained, and that subject to permission for the campus plans being granted, council officers will be authorised to investigate community use/ownership options at that facility.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: How one of the swimming pools at the community campus will look.

Inside the campus, there will also be a four court games hall, gymnasium, dance studio and fitness suite.

Outside there will be two full size football pitches, one grass and one with artificial turf, and a multi-use games area (MUGA). The synthetic pitch will be capable of being used for both rugby and football.

Under the plans, the 3G pitch will be floodlit but the grass pitch will not - a decision which, according to supporting documents lodged with the application, has been made intentionally.

The documents say the grass pitch will be located close to the part of the North Shore site earmarked for future residential development under the council's wider 'Ardrossan Coastal Quarter' plans - hence the decision not to opt for floodlighting.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: A look at how the campus will form part of the wider Coastal Quarter development.

External sporting facilities will be available for community use outside school operating hours.

The plans state that the campus building will be 14 metres tall, similar to the existing Mariners View buildings nearby.

It will have three storeys, with the early years facility on one, the primary on two of the three, and the secondary facility across all three.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: How the different storeys of the campus are proposed to look.

There will be a separate entrance to the community areas within the campus.

The documents also seek to answer community concerns about the proposals - most notably the selection of the site itself.

They state that the site was one of 21 on a 'long list' of options, later narrowed down to a shortlist of seven.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Some of the key design features of the proposed campus.

Of these, only two were within the existing schools' catchment areas - the North Shore site and the current Ardrossan Academy.

The current Academy site was deemed "not large enough" to support the range of activities it's hoped to provide at the campus - leading to the decision to opt for the former oil refinery site, in spite of fears over the state of the land. 

The documents also set out in more detail the "extensive remediation process" for the land before building work can start.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: The main entrance of the proposed campus.

This will include third party verification that work is satisfactory, and rectification work if any failures are identified.

Subject to a tender being awarded, after the failure of the previous process, it's thought that remediation work could begin this summer.


The documents also answer concerns over the flood risk at the site, setting out plans for an "enhanced revetment solution" to provide protection against the effects of climate change and a 'one in 1,000 years' extreme flooding event.

Other features to protect campus users from the prevailing westerly winds include 'earth mounding landscapes' and enclosures for outdoor learning - as well as canopies in specific areas for protection from the sun.

Part of the early tears outdoor space will be under cover to ensure children can play outdoors no matter the weather.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: A look at detailed plans for the site.

The document also attempts to answer public concern around traffic management in the event of the plans being approved.

It says a travel plan will be drawn up seeking to minimise the number of car journeys to and from the site - particularly by motorists driving alone - and to promote cycling and walking.

The document also states that the site is "highly accessible" via public transport for pupils, staff and visitors.

The campus itself will include 207 car parking spaces, 11 of which will be accessible spots, while 21 will have EV charging points. Drop off bays for buses are also included.

The car parking will be split into two areas - one with room for 139 cars, the other for 68 - as well as a one-way system for picking up and dropping off. 


In addition, a minimum of 168 bike spaces, all covered and secure, are planned - even though a travel assessment previously carried out estimated that only 12 of the campus's 1,420 primary and secondary pupils are expected to travel to and from school by bike.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: What a classroom would look like inside the school.

Outside the school, a new road is also proposed as part of the wider Coastal Quarter plans.

This would come off North Crescent Road and head along the coastline, past the site earmarked for future development at the north of the shore.

At a point parallel with the existing Sweeney Court, the road cuts back inland and along the front of the campus, joining up with the existing road network at Montgomerie Pier Road.

The planned new road would also continue towards a further site marked for new development – joining with Montgomerie Street/Dawnlight Circle.

The document states that the current two-way traffic system is to remain in place as one way system not deemed required and "could cause increased congestion".

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: A look inside what the school may look like upon completion.

The plans, submitted by agents JM Architects on behalf of North Ayrshire Council, are currently pending consideration.

They can be viewed in full via the council's online planning portal, searching for reference 23/00319/PPM.