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Tuesday, March 14, 2024

75 Million Ayr Central shopping centre opens ahead of schedule

Debenhams, the anchor store at Ayr Central, opens three days ahead of schedule and marks the first phase completion of the 75 million, 32,517 sq m (350,000 sq ft) shopping complex in the heart of Ayr.

This phased opening milestone marks the culmination of almost 6 years of intense development activity by the centre's developers Henry Boot Developments, which has transformed a town-centre brownfield site, which lay derelict for 15 years into one of the UK's most innovative retail developments.

Ayr Central is set to have an immediate impact on the centre of Ayr and indeed the west of Scotland. Once open, it size and tenant mix will, according to CACI, catapult Ayr to fifth strongest retail destination in Scotland, above Braehead, Perth, Falkirk, Stirling, Inverness and East Kilbride.

The new complex will also attract an additional 400 new jobs to the area and increase the weekly number of shoppers in Ayr from 136,000 to over 240,000 and during the summer months this figure is expected to rise to above 300,000 people.

A new concept in retail development, Ayr Central is a hybrid development which utilises the best qualities of out of town retail accommodation but places this within a town centre location with a town centre design. With strong emphasis placed on natural Scottish materials, the striking Caithness slab and red sandstone fronted development houses some of the biggest names in UK retailing.

As well as Debenhams, the 7,900 sq m (85,000 sq ft) anchor store, other new retailers who have signed up to Ayr Central include fashion retailers Next, H&M; and Primark. They will be joined by HMV, Hallmark Cards, Subway and Costa Coffee, which will incorporate water features and retractable walls in the design.

Ayr Central will house 'Taran Square' - the first new open air public space to be created in Ayr for more than 300 years. Beneath the development lies a 495 space single level underground car park.

Monday's first phase opening will kick start a six-month celebration of Ayr Central, which is hoped to bring thousands of visitors during the spring and summer months and contribute to the civic pride of Ayr town centre.