WORK has begun on a multi-million pound transformation of Irvine town centre.
As part of a £30million project, North Ayrshire Council is paying £8.5m to improve the Bridgegate House building in the heart of the town.
Irvine Bay Regeneration Company will provide £800,000 for the work to make the building a focal point in the regenerated town centre.
Over the next year residents are being promised a cleaner, brighter, more attractive modern building and major improvements to businesses, with new shop fronts, signs and roller shutters.
GRAHAM Construction was selected earlier this year to carry out both the interior and exterior refurbishment.
The council's new customer contact centre will be built at the High Street entrance to Bridgegate House, with services such as housing, social work, benefits and trading standards also expected to be based there.
Councillor Marie Burns, spokeswoman for economic development and regen-eration, said: "The council has been working very hard, along with our partners at Irvine Bay, to plan the ambitious regeneration of Irvine Town Centre.
"However, it is only now that the people of Irvine will begin to see these plans begin to take shape. The whole of the town centre will benefit from the much-needed modernisation of Bridgegate House and the streetscape over the next year or so.
"While there will inevitably be some disruption, much of the planning has gone toward ensuring this is kept to a minimum. We believe the end result will be a positive one – one which gives local people increased pride in their town, while making it a more attractive destination for visitors and businesses."
Gary Holmes, contracts director at GRAHAM Construction, said: "The refurbishment of Bridgegate House is a major undertaking and one we are committing a significant manpower resource to."