Sìorrachd Àir a Tuath
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Lieutenancy area||Ayrshire and Arran|
|• Body||North Ayrshire Council|
|• Control||Labour minority (council NOC)|
|• Total||341.9 sq mi (885.4 km2)|
|Area rank||Ranked 17th|
|• Rank||Ranked 15th|
|• Density||400/sq mi (150/km2)|
|ISO 3166 code||GB-NAY|
11 / 33
11 / 33
7 / 33
0 / 33
4 / 33
|Single transferable vote|
|4 May 2017|
Cunningham House, Irvine
North Ayrshire (Scottish Gaelic: Siorrachd Àir a Tuath, pronounced [ˈʃirˠəxk aːɾʲ ə t̪ʰuə]) is one of 32 council areas in Scotland. It has a population of roughly 135,280 people. It is located in the southwest of Scotland, and borders the areas of Inverclyde to the north, Renfrewshire to the northeast and East Ayrshire and South Ayrshire to the east and south respectively. North Ayrshire Council is a hung Council. North Ayrshire also forms part of the east coast of the Firth of Clyde.
History and formation
The area was created in 1996 as a successor to the district of Cunninghame. The council headquarters are located in Irvine, which is the largest town. The area also contains the towns of Ardrossan, Beith, Dalry, Kilbirnie, Kilwinning, Largs, Saltcoats, Skelmorlie, Stevenston, West Kilbride, as well as the Isle of Arran and the Cumbrae Isles. The Isle of Arran covers nearly half of the council area's territory, but is home to less than 4% of the population. North Ayrshire is known for its rural countryside, coastlines, beaches and landmarks. It is a mostly affluent area with the population being among the least deprived in Scotland. However a few parts of the area have some deprivation, this is mostly towards the south of the area in Saltcoats and Stevenston where there is some deprived areas.
The towns in the north of the area, Skelmorelie, Largs, Fairle and West Kilbride are affluent commuting towns and with them being on the coast, are very popular with tourists during the summer months, towns in the south include the 3 towns Ardrossan, Saltcoats and Stevenston as well as the affluent town of Kilwinning. Towards the south of the area is Irvine which is also the main settlement and largest town in the area. The inland towns of Dalry, Kilbirnie and Beith were steel towns with the large steel mills however these are long gone. Tourism is the main industry on Arran and Cumbrae; however, the number of holiday homes on the latter has begun to squeeze locals out of the housing market. Regeneration is currently taking place at Ardrossan Harbour and Irvine town centre, and there has been a rapid increase in the construction of new housing in recent years.
Kelburn Castle, Fairlie, is the home of the 10th Earl of Glasgow, Patrick Robin Archibald Boyle. The grounds have belonged to the Boyle family since the 1100s. In 2007, the castle was transformed by the Graffiti Project.
The SNP formed a minority administration in the North Ayrshire council area in May 2012, however, they were replaced by the Labour Party following a by-election in Irvine West in 2016. At the House of Commons, North Ayrshire is covered by the Central Ayrshire and North Ayrshire and Arran Parliamentary constituencies, both of which are represented by MPs belonging to the Scottish National Party. In the Scottish Parliament, the council area is divided into Cunninghame North and Cunninghame South, both represented by MSPs from the Scottish National Party.
Towns and villages
Places of interest
- Kelburn Castle and Country Centre
- Barrmill Park
- Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park
- Eglinton Country Park, Irvine
- Eglinton Tournament Bridge
- Irvine Harbour
- Spier's Old School Grounds
- "Population Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, Mid-2019". Office for National Statistics. 6 May 2020. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
- "East coast, Firth of Clyde" (PDF). Retrieved 16 December 2016.