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  • Writer's pictureEsther Clark

January News

The full council met in December and is applying for a demolition order on the south wing, which is the nicest part of the hotel. A small number of the committee have met with Mike Newall the new deputy chief executive of South Ayrshire Council twice, once also with his two senior officials in charge of Building Control and Planning. While SAC are applying for a demolition order, the administration process is at least 18 months usually. This allows the Action Group time to continue putting pressure to have the Station Hotel and station buildings restored.

S.A.V.E Britain's Heritage produced an excellent report last May which gave alternative options for the future use of the hotel. They raised the money which I believe came from AHSS (Architectural Heritage Society for Scotland) to produce this and used Scottish contacts in Edinburgh for architecture and surveying purposes. This is a good basis for further planning. This will involve joint working by railway companies as the station buildings are, although listed like the rest of the complex, are neglected. They have been abandoned by NetworkRail in favour of Portakabins and part rented out. Pressure needs to be put on NetworkRail to co-operate.

SAC has expressed a willingness to explore and consider all opportunities that may result in saving the Hotel.

The next step if S.A.V.E are to become involved further has to be a visit from Ed Morton a world class structural engineer commissioned by S.A.V.E to provide a report on the interior of the Hotel. This was done previously by Mott McDonald some years ago but would be necessary whether the South Wing were to be demolished or a restoration programme started.

The estimated cost of the demolition of the South Wing as accepted by the council is £6.6m. The monthly cost of the scaffolding is around £67k which means the demolition costs would cover 1000 months. Ayr would be left with a big hole at the top of the town. Much cheaper and desirable to facilitate a charity taking on the building and restoring it. The charity would have to raise the money and while SAC would have some expenditure it would be cheaper, less disruptive to the town and its people and it would be more environmentally friendly.

Please find below the latest Railway Heritage Magazine which has supported us over the last five years and continue to do so and covers the whole of the UK and goes round the world.


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