Saltcoats (Scottish Gaelic: Baile an t-Salachar) is a small 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.

Location within North Ayrshire
Population11,260 [1] (2001 census)
est. 11,730[2] (2006)
OS grid referenceNS245415
 Edinburgh77.6 mi (124.9 km)
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtKA21
Dialling code01294
EU ParliamentScotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament


The harbour was designed by James Jardine in 1811.[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 Abellio ScotRail.

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.

Government and politics

Saltcoats is part of the Ayrshire North & 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 traditionally returned Conservative or Unionist MPs until 1987, when the constituency was won by the Labour Party.


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.

Notable Residents


  1. "Comparative Population Profile: Saltcoats Locality". Scotland's Census Results Online. 29 April 2001. Archived from the original on 19 May 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2008.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 September 2009. Retrieved 31 January 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  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. James Manson (engineer)
  8. Steve (4 October 2010). "Bear Alley: Hugh Munro". Retrieved 1 May 2016.
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