AYR STATION HOTEL NEWS
SOME THOUGHTS ON THE INTERIM ENGINEERS' REPORT ON SOUTH AYRSHIRE COUNCIL'S WEBSITE
1. The Stage 1 Report contains a lot of information which was not published. Only the Factual Report was published. Withheld were the initial site survey, interim conclusions etc. Stage 2 contains all the information found that we are most interested in, which is conclusions and costings. Even so, quite a lot of matters were excluded when the Report was commissioned as it tells you.
2. All that aside, some intrusive work was done in Stage 2 which we await with interest. In the meantime I have asked a number of experts to look at what is published at the moment for some judgement on what it might mean. We want to find out if we can asap.
3.What we need to discover is what this technical report means in terms of whether the Ayr Station Hotel can be retained or needs to be demolished in whole or in part.
4. We need to know then if the building can be conserved and adapted to useful and economically viable use. This partly depends on what the economic plan is for Ayr in terms of economic development for tourism. The scope for this is much enhanced if the Ayr Station Hotel is integrated with the Station.
5. The economic/financial concept of a separate new station suits the railway companies as they like new glass & steel stations that they control. These new builds only last 25 years and are not in keeping with the conservation of a historic town like Ayr. What is relevant is that the Scottish Government would pay for a new station at £18m so would be less likely to find extra for the abandoned Station Hotel's conservation and redevelopment. Demolition would cost £4m as well.
6. There will no mention in this technical Factual Report of the high quality of the Ayr Station Hotel as a building nor of its importance historically or to the character of the town. On the basis that restoration is considered possible then it will require a Conservation Review. I hope this is on the cards.
7. I have been negotiating with the council on trying to set up a Town Centre Community Development Trust and they have agreed to this in principle. This of course could if successful make the Hotel restoration more meaningful as the town centre buildings would be part of a scheme to return the town to its former glory.
Gourock Station as was, charming:
Gourock Station as is, clinical: