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Normal White Horses, Saltcoats.jpg
Seafront and part of the Saltcoats skyline, 2013
Saltcoats is located in North Ayrshire
Location within North Ayrshire
Population12,250 (mid-2020 est.)[1]
• Density3,489/sq km
OS grid referenceNS245415
• Edinburgh77.6 mi (124.9 km)
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtKA21
Dialling code01294
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
55°38′07″N 4°47′23″W / 55.6352°N 04.7896°W / 55.6352; -04.7896Coordinates: 55°38′07″N 4°47′23″W / 55.6352°N 04.7896°W / 55.6352; -04.7896

Saltcoats (Scottish Gaelic: Baile an t-Salainn) is a town on the west coast of North Ayrshire, Scotland. The name is derived from the town's earliest industry when salt was harvested from the sea water of the Firth of Clyde, carried out in small cottages along the shore. It is part of the 'Three Towns' conurbation along with Ardrossan and Stevenston and is the third largest town in North Ayrshire.


In the late eighteenth century, several shipyards operated at Saltcoats, producing some sixty to seventy ships. The leading shipbuilder was William Ritchie, but in 1790 he moved his business to Belfast. By the early nineteenth century, the town had stopped producing ships. Saltcoats Town Hall, which dates back to 1826, is a Category B listed building.[2]

In 2018, a statue to commemorate the popular football Bobby Lennox, from the town, was constructed across from the main station.


Saltcoats is part of the North Ayrshire and Arran constituency in the House of Commons and Cunninghame North constituency in the devolved Scottish Parliament. Both seats are held by the Scottish National Party.

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 historically returned Conservative or Unionist MPs until 1987, when the constituency was won by the Labour Party.


The harbour was designed by James Jardine in 1811, however no cargo or passenger services run from the harbour any more.[3]

Saltcoats is served by regular bus and railway services. Primary bus services are provided by Stagecoach West Scotland, while rail services are operated by ScotRail. These rail services are frequent and serve nearby Glasgow, as well as Largs, Ardrossan and Kilwinning.

Although Saltcoats currently only has a single railway station, the town was once served by a second railway station located in the north of the town, originally as part of the Lanarkshire and Ayrshire Railway. This station ceased regular passenger services on 4 July 1932,[4] and there is no trace of the station today bar a nearby bridge.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "Mid-2020 Population Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland". National Records of Scotland. 31 March 2022. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  2. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "Town Hall, Countess Street (LB40489)". Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  3. ^ "James Jardine: Overview of James Jardine". Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  4. ^ Stansfield, page 7
  5. ^ "News and events - The University of Manchester - Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics". Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  6. ^ "The Story Behind Colin Hay's "Maggie"". Milwaukee Public Radio Interview. 29 April 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  7. ^ Steve (4 October 2010). "Bear Alley: Hugh Munro". Retrieved 1 May 2016.

External links[edit]