I was delighted to attend the official opening of Saltcoats Town Hall by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP.
For years, Saltcoats Town Hall was neglected and allowed by the, then, Labour controlled council to crumble into disrepair until it eventually closed. Following the election of an SNP led administration, SNP councillor Willie Gibson and independent councillor Ronnie McNicol were determined to turn things around.
Working with Irvine Bay Regeneration Company and backed by £160,000 from Historic Scotland and £1.1 million from the SNP Government, North Ayrshire Council under the ambitious leadership of Councillor Gibson has delivered with a total investment of £3.77 million.
Built in 1826, the historic character has been retained in a stunning building now fit for the 21st century that is suitable for weddings, events, conferences, educational activities and with 65 North Ayrshire Council housing, health a social care staff providing integrated services at one location.
The support of local businesses, people, their community spirit and the dedication of council staff means that the town hall is now a focal point for bringing vibrancy to the town and a catalyst for further regeneration, investment and job creation. Indeed, tenders went out today for the regeneration of Countess Street, to be completed over the next year.
Saltcoats Town Hall will be the Beating heart of Saltcoats for decades to come.