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North Ayrshire

Scottish Gaelic: Siorrachd Àir a Tuath
Coat of arms of North Ayrshire
Coat of arms
Official logo of North Ayrshire
Council logo
North Ayrshire in Scotland.svg
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Country Scotland
Lieutenancy area Ayrshire and Arran
Admin HQ Cunningham House, Irvine
Government
 • Body North Ayrshire Council
Area
 • Total 341.9 sq mi (885.4 km2)
Area rank Ranked 17th
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 135,280
 • Rank Ranked 15th
 • Density 395.72/sq mi (152.790/km2)
ONS code S12000021
ISO 3166 code GB-NAY

North Ayrshire (Scottish Gaelic: Siorrachd Àir a Tuath) is one of 32 council areas in Scotland.

Located in the west central Lowlands with the Firth of Clyde to its west, the council area covers the northern portion of the historic county of Ayrshire, in addition to the islands forming Buteshire. It has a population of roughly 135,280 people. with its largest settlements at Irvine and Kilwinning.

The council area borders Inverclyde to the north, Renfrewshire to the northeast, and East Ayrshire and South Ayrshire to the east and south respectively. The local authority is North Ayrshire Council, formed in 1997 and following similar boundaries to the district of Cunninghame.

Towns and villages

The main administration centre and largest settlement in North Ayrshire is Irvine, a new town on the coast of the Firth of Clyde, with a population of 39,527.

The second biggest settlement is Kilwinning which has a population of over 18,000. Other major population centres include Largs, and the Three Towns - Ardrossan, Saltcoats and Stevenston.

On the Isle of Arran, the largest village is Lamlash and there are numerous smaller villages. On Great Cumbrae, the only town on the island is Millport.

Places of interest


Economy

A View From Millport Isle Of Cumbrae - panoramio
A view from Millport. Tourism, particularly in the islands, is a strong sector of North Ayrshire's economy.

North Ayrshire has a slightly higher level of unemployment compared to the Scottish average. North Ayrshire launched an Economic Recovery and Renewal Strategy in September 2020 focusing on economic recovery and a renewal approach which aims to sets out a comprehensive plan for an inclusive and green economic recovery for North Ayrshire. A £8.8 million Investment Fund will be used as a key element of a Green New Deal by:

  • Maximising renewable energy generation using the council's land and assets
  • The creation of a new Green Jobs Fund to ensure a just transition for North Ayrshire;
  • Investing in commercial estate including improving sustainability;
  • Tackling vacant and derelict land and buildings in town centres;
  • Supporting community economic development including through community regeneration and ownership
  • A tree-planting programme to support carbon absorption

In May 2020, North Ayrshire Council became the first council in Scotland to become a Community Wealth Building (CWB) Council, setting out a new economic model focused on wellbeing and inclusion. North Ayrshire Council seeks to use Community Wealth Building objectives to support the recovery and renewal of North Ayrshire by creating an economy that works for people, place and planet.

The North Ayrshire approach will see the creation of a new £660,000 Community Wealth Building Business Fund to provide assistance to local business and facilitating the development of co-operatives, employee ownership and social enterprises, supporting local supply chains, fair employment, digital adoption and the transition to a green economy. North Ayrshire is to benefit from the Ayrshire Growth Deal, an economic plan created by both the Scottish Government and UK Government. The £250 million Ayrshire Growth Deal is also central to the plans to support economic recovery through a bold and ambitious investment programme to create and secure jobs within the area of North Ayrshire.

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