People from Irvine have caught their first glimpse of the revamped Bridgegate House after much of the scaffolding which has been covering the building in recent weeks was taken down.
Shoppers will also welcome the news that workers on both the Bridgegate House and streetscape projects are to stand down over the festive period.
Work on Bridgegate House began in the summer, with the first phase taking in the High Street end of the building. Contractor GRAHAM Construction is carrying out extensive work to improve the look of the building from the outside and make best use of the office space inside.
This phase is set to be completed in spring – with a new façade and customer service centre being unveiled shortly after the building work is complete.
Contractors Land Engineering stopped work on Bridgegate streetscape on December 3 to allow Christmas shoppers easier access to the area. The work will restart on Monday, January 7, with the first phase due to be completed in April.
The improvements being carried out include the introduction of natural stone paving, upgraded lighting, signage and street furniture and will incorporate public art including a timeline with information on Irvine and the surrounding area.
Councillor Marie Burns, Cabinet Member for Employment and Economy, said: “I would really like to thank the people and businesses of Irvine. While it was inevitable that there would be disruption, I believe we have made great efforts to minimise this impact - speaking to businesses from an early stage and listening to their concerns.
“I am confident that residents, businesses and visitors will appreciate the transformation of the town centre over the next few years.
“I also want to recognise our own staff who have coped admirably throughout the refurbishment. It is certainly not easy to continue to carry out their jobs at the same time as such major work is happening.
“That they have done is a testament to their commitment and attitude and I would like to thank them for their patience and effort.”
GRAHAM is working on the refurbishment of Bridgegate House right up until the festive break. The contractor has replaced all of the glazing on the upper floors of the building, which allowed the scaffolding to come down on Sunday, December 16.
The most visible signs of progress will be seen in January, when new shop fronts for the ground floor businesses are installed.
Gary Holmes, contracts director at GRAHAM Construction, said: “The refurbishment of Bridgegate House is progressing well and the scaffolding coming down marks a significant milestone for the project.
“There will be a break from the work over the festive period, allowing shoppers easier access to the town centre.
“Given its prominent position in Irvine, we are confident local people will welcome the more modern and visually appealing building which is being created.”