This afternoon, the actress Maureen Beattie dedicated Ayrshire Housing’s latest development Beattie Close, named after her late father Johnny, the great Scottish actor and comedian.
Directly across from Ayr’s Gaiety Theatre, it is a development of 31 social rented flats all designed for lifetime living. It includes a private courtyard and three roof gardens.
Speaking alongside other family members, Maureen said “we’re so honoured that this wonderful development has been named after our father. The Gaiety just across the road was his favourite theatre – Johnnie was known as “Mr Gaiety”!”
Last year, Ayrshire Housing staged a public vote in association with The Gaiety to decide on a name for the new building. The community was invited to submit their ideas for a suitably theatrical name for the building. Over 100 entries were ultimately narrowed down to just 5 final options, with the public overwhelmingly voting for Beattie Close – in honour of the late, great, Johnny Beattie.
Actor and comedian Johnny Beattie MBE was a beloved figure on the Scottish entertainment scene, whose work in television and theatre spanned over 6 decades. He had a particular strong connection to Ayrshire and The Gaiety in particular, performing on many occasions in the theatre – most notably for 6 back-to-back summer seasons as host of The Gaiety Whirl when Maureen was a child. The Beattie family has a lifelong connection to Ayrshire, which will be suitably honoured at both events. Maureen has now become the Gaiety’s patron. She is also a former President of the actors’ union equity.
The £7m development has been designed by Ayr based ARPL and built by the JR Group. Ayrshire Housing is pleased to have worked with the South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership to incorporate flats with onsite care. It has been made possible through the financial support of the Scottish Government working with South Ayrshire Council.