(l-r) Jim McColl, Professor Gordon Wilson, Belleisle Conservatory Ltd, Councillor Bill Grant, Norman McLean, Chairman of Friends of Belleisle, and Councillor Allan Dorans
Work to restore an iconic conservatory in South Ayrshire got the thumbs up from Jim McColl, a celebrity gardener from the Beechgrove Garden programme, when he visited the conservatory to see the progress for himself.
South Ayrshire Council has been working in partnership with Belleisle Conservatory Ltd to reinstate the conservatory. For the last five years the enthusiastic and dedicated members of Belleisle Conservatory Ltd have worked tirelessly to raise funds and work with the Council to get the refurbishment work started.
Councillor John McDowall, Sustainability and Environment Portfolio Holder for the Council said: "Belleisle Park is currently undergoing many changes that will improve facilities for local people and visitors. This has been achieved through vision, hard work and the Council working in partnership with others to bring about changes.
"Belleisle conservatory lies at the heart of the park and its refurbishment, which has been championed by Belleisle Conservatory Ltd will be a welcome addition to the park facilities. Once the conservatory is restored it will be the venue for a range of activities and exhibitions. I am sure the conservatory will bring back happy memories for many people and younger people will have the thrill of discovering what an exciting place the conservatory is."
"The Council has contributed nearly one million pounds to the Belleisle Park masterplan. £580,000 is needed to complete the conservatory project and so far Heritage Lottery has provided £400,000 and Belleisle Conservatory Ltd has raised £94,000 from trusts, charities and personal donations. This is a phenomenal achievement by Belleisle Conservatory Ltd, which is a charitable company run by enthusiastic volunteers."
Professor Gordon Wilson of Belleisle Conservatory Ltd said: "We are delighted that work has now started on reinstating Belleisle Conservatory to its former glory and we would like to thank everyone who has supported the project. Our team is planning to develop the building as a popular centre, open to the general public where activities and events will take place. From horticulture to arts, from education to culture, there will be something to suit everyone. "We still need around £100,000 to complete it and would encourage people to donate to the project, or become a member of Belleisle Conservatory Ltd, and help us create a lasting legacy in Belleisle Park."
There are many ways in which you can support the Belleisle conservatory project:
- Become a member, at just £25 for a family membership per year, it's a great value way to get involved and do your bit.
- Donate what you can at www.justgiving.com (search for Belleisle Conservatory Restoration) or send us a cheque to BC Ltd, 4 Beresford Terrace, Ayr KA7 2EG
- Buy an engraved pane of glass or engraved floor tiles and become a sponsor.
After seeing the work for himself Jim McColl said: "As an Ayrshire man I have been an admirer of Belleisle and its conservatory for many years. It is now very satisfying to see work beginning on the restoration. I extend my congratulations and best wishes to all my friends in Belleisle Conservatory Ltd and in South Ayrshire Council."