|Scottish Gaelic: Baile an t-Salainn.|
Saltcoats shown within North Ayrshire
|Population||11,260  (2001 census)
est. 11,730 (2006)
|OS grid reference|
|Council area||North Ayrshire|
|Lieutenancy area||Ayrshire and Arran|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||North Ayrshire and Arran|
|Scottish Parliament||Cunninghame North|
- For other places with the same name see Saltcoats (disambiguation).
Saltcoats' name is derived from the town's earliest industry when salt was harvested from the sea water, carried out in small cottages along the beach known as 'cots' in Scots. Other early industries in the town included coal mining, fishing and handloom weaving.
Saltcoats was the terminus of the Stevenston Canal, the first commercial canal in Scotland that carried coal from the numerous pits in Ardeer, Stevenston, and Auchenharvie to the harbour for export to Ireland or use at the saltpans.
After the turn of the twentieth century and the decline of salt panning in the town, Saltcoats became increasingly popular as a holiday destination. An old bathing pond was rebuilt during the 1930s, becoming the largest tidal pool of the time in Scotland. Saltcoats beautiful sandy beach makes it a popular destination for holiday makers and daytrippers.
Although Saltcoats currently only has a single railway station, the town was once served by a second railway station to the north of the town, originally as part of the Lanarkshire and Ayrshire Railway. This station closed to regular services on 4 July 1932, and there is no trace of the station today bar a nearby bridge.
Saltcoats is served by 4 primary schools, 1 secondary school, one special needs school and one community centre.
- Saltcoats Primary School
Special Needs School
- James Reid School
- Ardeer Square Community Centre and Cranberry Moss
Pupils from Caledonia, Dykesmains and Mayfield tend to go to either Ardrossan Academy in Ardrossan or Auchenharvie Academy in Stevenston once they have completed primary school. Those from St. Anthony's usually go to St Matthew's Academy.
Government and Politics
Saltcoats is in the Ayrshire North & Arran constituency in the House of Commons and Cunninghame North constituency in the Scottish Parliament. The Westminster seat is held by the Labour Party, and the Holyrood seat was gained by the Scottish National Party from Labour in the May 2007 election by a mere 48 votes.
Historically, Ardrossan has been part of the UK parliament constituencies North Ayrshire (1868–1918), Bute and Northern Ayrshire (1918–1983) and Cunninghame North (1983–2005). These constituencies traditionally returned Conservative or Unionist MP's until 1987, when the constituency was won by the Labour Party.
Shopping in Saltcoats
Saltcoats has recently seen a decline in the number of shops within its town centre, hit hard by the recession, including the loss of large chain Woolworths. There are still plenty of shops to be visited in the town, this includes large chains such as Semi-Chem, Home Hardware, Superdrug, JD Wetherspoon, Greggs The Bakers, and more. A shopfront improvement project is currently under way in the town centre, an Irvine Bay regeneration initiative.
Saltcoats in popular culture
- The BBC comedy Still Game shot scenes in Saltcoats and Largs which served as the fictional coastal town of Finport- the areas shown in the episode were the sea wall, promenade and the Melbourne Cafe
- The Melbourne Cafe, which is beside Saltcoats oldest cafe 'Cavani's' which first opened in 1902 and various areas of the town also appear in the movie Late Night Shopping (2001)
- It is also mentioned in another episode of Still Game and in an episode of Scotch and Wry
- "Saltcoats at the Fair" is a track on Billy Connolly's Transatlantic Years album
- Scottish indie band Glasvegas released a song entitled 'The Prettiest Thing on Saltcoats Beach' as a B-side to their single Geraldine.
- Poet Tom Leonard mentioned Saltcoats in his poem 100 Differences Between Poetry and Prose.
- Alexander Allan, founder of the Allan Line Royal Mail Steamers
- Andrew Allan of the Allan Line Royal Mail Steamers
- Sir Hugh Allan, of the Allan Line Royal Mail Steamers
- Steve Clarke, professional footballer
- Janice Galloway acclaimed Scottish writer, author of The Trick Is to Keep Breathing (1989)
- Colin Hay musician, singer, songwriter
- Bobby Lennox, professional footballer
- Hugh McMahon, professional footballer
- Graeme Obree, cyclist
- "Comparative Population Profile: Saltcoats Locality". Scotland's Census Results Online. 2001-04-29. Retrieved 2008-08-31.
- McSherry, page 3
- Stansfield, page 7
- Shopfront Improvement Scheme
- "The Story Behind Colin Hay's "Maggie"". Milwaukee Public Radio Interview. 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- McSherry, R. & M. (1995). Old Saltcoats, Stenlake Publishing, Ochiltree. ISBN 1-872074-57-X.
- Stansfield, G. (1999). Ayrshire & Renfrewshire's Lost Railways, Stenlake Publishing, Catrine. ISBN 1-84033-077-5.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Saltcoats.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Saltcoats.|
- Irvine Bay