People across North Ayrshire will get the chance to play a pivotal role in the future of libraries, halls and community centres.

Wide-ranging engagement is to get underway next week to determine how the services can best be delivered in years to come.

With Council budgets coming under sustained pressure, North Ayrshire Council wants to work alongside communities in shaping the future services.

To help make that happen, a working group was set up last year to develop proposals for more effective ways of ensuring people continue to access community facilities in challenging economic circumstances.

Made up of elected members from all political groups on North Ayrshire Council, alongside members of the North Ayrshire Federation of Community Organisations and Council Officers, the working group identified a range of themes which will now form the basis for engagement with communities.

This will look at how best to deliver services such as libraries, halls and community community centres in ways which meets the needs of the community.

The comprehensive engagement gets underway next week and will continue through to May. The first sessions are being held at:

· Largs Academy - 28 March, 6.30pm-8pm

· Fairlie Primary School - 2 April, 6.30pm-8pm

· West Kilbride Primary School – 11 April, 6.30pm-8pm.

Invitations have been issued to key stakeholders, such as community groups and service users and members of public are welcome to join in the consultation on the day.

Engagement sessions will also be held in Millport and Skelmorlie in May, dates yet to be confirmed.

This will only be the first stage in a comprehensive engagement which will include online consultation and workshops in the coming weeks and months.

Cabinet Member for Communities, Councillor Louise McPhater said: “Residents will be well aware of the financial challenges faced by Councils across Scotland - we have to find viable, economic solutions which allow us to continue to deliver the services people want.

“We are proud of the relationship with our communities and that’s why we want them to play a key role in helping to shape the future of our libraries, halls and community centres.

“The purpose of this engagement is to enable us and our partners to gather the views of our communities and capture the aspirations and opinions of the local community on their facilities, including community centres, libraries, halls and any other buildings and venues where activities and events happen.