“The biggest capital spend in East Ayrshire Council’s history deserves the most stimulating and innovative approach to its design, development and build.”
That’s the message from councillors this week as the bidding, tendering and procurement strategy for the £63.5 million flagship Learning and Enterprise Campus, to be sited between Auchinleck and Cumnock, was agreed.
The Council has taken the innovative step of appointing the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) as partners, working with the Council to promote, assess and evaluate the architectural firms who bid to design the new campus.
A two-stage process, overseen by RIAS, will see interested parties being invited to complete a pre-qualifying questionnaire, before successful applicants are invited to submit more detailed responses and attend an interview to explain their ideas and costs.
Council Leader, Councillor Douglas Reid explained: “This is the biggest capital investment ever undertaken by this Council and it needs to deliver our educational ambitions in the interests of the community.
“RIAS have unparalleled expertise in similar projects and this will allow us to scrutinise bids against our procurement framework, maximising the value of every single penny spent on it –from design and development, to the building and equipment in it.”
RIAS President Willie Watt added: “We’re delighted to be working with East Ayrshire Council on this hugely important project.
“The emphasis is on quality to ensure long term best value for local communities, improve the lives of local people and help the Council deliver excellent education for many years to come.”
The appointed design team will lead on a comprehensive consultation programme, seeking the views of pupils, parents, community groups, sports clubs, local residents, businesses, and other interested parties, to come up with a list of essential requirements for the project at the earliest possible stage.
Councillor Reid continued: “I’m confident we can attract the very best people to make this fantastic campus a dream come true for our young pupils, the local community and the people of East Ayrshire.
“The professional expertise from RIAS will help us achieve our goals of building a truly inspirational and outstanding campus for the whole community to use and be proud of.”