Since the March Review and after a Zoom committee meeting I stepped down as chair although I remain involved. I am standing for Ayr in the forthcoming Scottish election as a Labour candidate. A major personal commitment to Ayr Town Centre including Ayr Station Hotel is part of my campaign.
Dave Ramsay was unanimously elected to the committee and agreed to be chair. He is the engineer who responded to a general request in our update and produced an independent Review of the Feasibility Study which had been commissioned by the Task Force.
Since the Review we have discussed plans for the Station/Hotel complex, NetworkRail are saying that their property (The Station) is unfit for use and needs demolished. They will retain ownership of the track etc. We have therefor submitted detailed plans and costs for that area. These include new passenger facilities like good toilets including disabled toilets, waiting rooms, cafe, convenience shop. It could also contain a digital hub/incubator for young professionals and businesses. We have explored funding for this and identified heritage sources for about £6M and have business/investment interest for the rest.
The remainder of the building which is the magnificent Hotel complex is not part of this detailed plan already submitted but the possibilities have been explored. We would like to use this either as a hotel if required or have a mixed use facility.
We hope to save this iconic Station Hotel building from demolition. We want a proper station and we want to avoid a Transport Hub which seems to have been favoured by the Council and NetworkRail since 2013. This involves a glass and steel modern structure with retail outlets as favoured by NetworkRail as part of their income stream, This would not help Ayr's Town Centre.
Save Britain's Heritage have a press release HERE.