When we started in 2018 there was no mention of any plan to refurbish the hotel or any investigation planned, only articles in the newspapers about a missing absentee landlord, rats, falling masonry and demolition. There had been a dangerous building notice in 2013 with four problems identified. In 2015, the owner had one of these fixed and commissioned re-pointing of the Rear Elevation wall on the platform. This wasn't properly carried out because of access problems and makeshift repairs were carried out by NetworkRail. The two roof problems were not addressed at all. Eventually the situation deteriorated and a second Dangerous Building Notice was taken out in 2018 and the Station had to close for months.
The condition of the Station when the current owner purchased it for £750k was rather rundown but it would have taken only £3M approximately to completely upgrade it and to redevelop it to a student hostel which was what the owner planned. All the plans available show no investment plan for the Hotel, it looks as if planners in various agencies thought it should just fall down. This flies in the face of common sense since to refurbish, even after the enormous neglect, would be economic compared to a new Station and a reorganized Burns Statue Square.
The Structural Engineers Report indicated it would take £10M to make it completely wind, watertight and safe. The Feasibility Study due the end of February will indicate what the possibilities are for the buildings and cost the options. These could be a large hotel, a bijou hotel, cafes, restaurants for passengers, shops etc. The South Ayrshire Council Strategic Governance Group will decide what happens. There is apparently a new owner hovering on the scene. Substantial investment is required to do justice to the heritage site. Let's hope that the Government, which would have paid outright for a new Station, will come good and ensure that Ayr has a gateway of significance.