Plans to build a new education and community campus in Ardrossan have been given the final go-ahead – after the Council this week received approval from the Scottish Government.

Scottish Ministers have rubber-stamped plans to close Winton Primary and Ardrossan Academy and to incorporate those two schools into a brand new facility in the North Shore area of the town.

It means the Council can now press ahead with their ambitious and exciting £60 million plans.

The first stage of development will be extensive remediation of the site, and while timescales are subject to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Council’s aspiration is that the new facility will be ready by 2024.

The Council first communicated their vision at the beginning of 2019 and a programme of lengthy engagement took place with the schools, community and a range of stakeholders to help shape the final proposals.

The proposed campus will comprise of an educational establishment – for children aged three to 18, formed from the closure and relocation of Ardrossan Academy and Winton Primary School and Early Years Class. In addition, extensive community provision is also a key feature of the new campus proposal, with a relocated Ardrossan library and swimming/leisure facilities also being included. Another key component of the proposed campus will be the co-location of staff from the HSCP Children and Families Locality Team.

The extensive community engagement and a statutory consultation exercise resulted in 80 per cent of the 786 completed responses in favour of building a new campus on the North Shore site.

The Council has now concluded a statutory public consultation on the future of early years, primary and secondary education provision in Ardrossan. The report on the outcome of the statutory public consultation and proposals for a new Community Campus in Ardrossan was originally to have been considered at a meeting of the North Ayrshire Council on 25 March 2020.  However, in view of the rules around social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic, North Ayrshire Council suspended all meetings of the Council and its committees until the end of June 2020. The Council’s Scheme of Delegation to Officers already allows the Chief Executive, to consider and deal with any urgent issues, howsoever arising, subject to reporting back to the Cabinet for information at the first available opportunity. This power is to be exercised in consultation with the relevant Chief Officer and the relevant portfolio holder.

After consideration of the report and appendices, after consulting with all Political Group Leaders and all Independent Members and having considered any comments received, the  decision was taken by the Chief Executive on 14th April 2020 to accept the proposal to establish a new 3 – 18 years education and community campus, situated on the North Shore, Ardrossan site by closing and relocating Ardrossan Academy and Winton Primary School and Early Years Class, and incorporating a swimming pool, public library and HSCP Children and Families locality team; and to notify the decision to the Scottish Ministers and publicise in accordance with the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010;

Under the terms of the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010, a period of 3 weeks begins on the date a local authority decides to close a school during which anyone can make a representation to the Scottish Government requesting that Scottish Ministers call-in the decision for investigation. After this 3-week period, Scottish Ministers will then have a further 5 weeks to determine whether or not to formally call-in the local authority’s decision.

Any representations made during the period 14 April to 4 May 2020, should be made by email to this address: schoolclosure@gov.scot or in writing to:

The Scottish Government, School Infrastructure Unit, 2-A (South), Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, EH6 6QQ

A copy of the report can be viewed below:

Ardrossan Consultation Report