Rivergate Shopping Centre

Rivergate Shopping Centre, Fullarton, Irvine
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Rivergate Shopping Centre, Fullarton, Irvine

Describing itself as Ayrshire's largest shopping centre, Rivergate is located in Irvine (North Ayrshire), where it spans the River Irvine. The building was designed by the Irvine Development Corporation and built 1973-75 by Sir Robert McAlpine and Sons at a cost of £5 million. The Centre was designed with five department stores, fifty smaller shops and extends to 29,729 sq. m (320,000 sq feet) of retail space. The first store was Arnotts, opened by Sir Hugh Fraser (1936-87) on the 9th October 1975 but no longer trading. Today, Boots the Chemist (opened 1976), Asda, Wilko and Primark are its anchor stores. Car parks accommodate 1178 cars.

Architecturally, despite cosmetic improvements, this was a building of its time. Its construction necessitated the demolition of a four-arched bridge dating from 1827, which caused upset to many local people. It also removed the heart from Fullarton on the west side of the river. At one stage it was intended the Centre should be extended west to Irvine Railway Station and beyond.

In 2013 the centre was bought by the US-based property investment firm Kennedy Wilson, and sees around 140,000 people come through its doors each week.

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