’The Ayrshire’, a new 18-hole links course complete with adjoining hotel and selection of pioneering fraction-freehold holiday homes will generate hundreds of jobs and millions of pounds for the local economy along the waterfront of Irvine Bay.

The new £60million development is a joint venture between property investment and development company Credential Holdings Limited and KPT Limited, the team behind the first ever authentic links course to be built on a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

The new course is to be created by acclaimed golf architect David McLay Kidd, whose previous projects include The Castle course in St Andrews, Machrihanish Dunes at Kintyre and the celebrated Bandon Dunes in Oregon.

“The Ayrshire is in a fantastic location just outside Glasgow and the whole project comes complete with luxury housing and a hotel,” said Euan Grant, former head green keeper of the old course at St Andrews, who will oversee construction.

“It’s close to two or three world class golf resorts and several of Scotland’s other top class courses.

“A lot of people travel to Scotland to play top quality golf so being close to Troon and Prestwick makes Irvine Bay an ideal location from which to explore the magnificent courses the area has to offer.”

On completion the development will require a staff of around 90 full time and 45 part time employees ranging from green keepers to bar tenders, caddies and hotel managers.

“The benefits to the area will be massive. Currently around 300,000 visitors from around the world come to play golf in Ayrshire each year with most arriving via nearby Prestwick Airport,” said Brian Keating of KPT Limited.

“Swedes, Danes, French and Germans in particular are coming in increasing numbers as quality golf courses such as The Ayrshire are a magnet for visitors.

“In terms of economic regeneration Scotland has to look at what it is good at and we are good at creating the best golf courses in the world.”

The Ayrshire will differ from many other links courses in that it will be open to the public as a pay and play course rather than for members only.

“It was important for us to make it a pay to play course so that it is accessible for everyone,” said Derek Porter, Group Managing Director of Credential Holdings Limited.

“We want as many local people to get involved as possible so those with a neighbouring postcode will pay less to play on the course. We also intend to build a caddie academy to train local teenagers.”

It’s been estimated by the developers that around 25,000 rounds of golf a year will be played at The Ayrshire. If each golfer spends £200 locally then the annual benefit to the economy will be around £5 million.

“The creation of an outstanding Scottish links course with adjacent and high quality supporting leisure developments – including a new hotel – is an important piece of the jigsaw in developing an exciting and sustainable new future for Irvine Bay, bringing jobs, wealth and opportunity to the area,” said Brian MacDonald, Regeneration Director of the Irvine Bay Regeneration Company.

“We have the opportunity to create a golfing asset which will bring visiting golfers to the area and, importantly, provide the facilities to keep them in this area longer.

”Despite there being a number of exceptional golf courses in this area, they are predominantly private members clubs providing limited opportunity for visiting golfers at weekends.

”The Ayrshire ― with a new links golf course, a high class hotel and fractional ownership facilities ― will fill that gap and encourage more golfers for longer stays. This is a great asset for the area.”

Construction of the par 70 golf course and 220,000 square foot hotel facility, with clubhouse, professional’s shop, spa, restaurant and conference facilities is estimated to take around 20 months and involve at least 250 construction jobs.