An artist's impression of the new building
Work to transform the derelict stables at Ayr's Belleisle Estate into a vibrant visitor hub is now underway. The initial phase will see reusable stone sifted from the site for later use as part of the new centre.
The £1.3million project will create a brand new visitor hub that will include flexible community space, a café, facilities for Park Rangers, and public toilets. The new building will use reclaimed stone and glass to provide a visual transition between Belleisle House, Belleisle Golf Course, and the outstanding environment of the wider estate. The building will be powered by a biomass boiler, with rainwater harvested to help reduce energy consumption and running costs.
The work is part of a wider programme at Belleisle Estate, which has benefited from investment of around £5 million in the last three years, which has seen visitor numbers double to 200,000 as a result.
Councillor Peter Henderson, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Resources and Performance said the latest development would provide a new focal point for visitors, "Belleisle has been transformed in recent years with investment helping to double the number of visitors and improve the Estate's appeal.
"With progress already seen with the refurbishment of the Conservatory, the creation of the new Golf Clubhouse, and the wider improvements to paths and landscaping, the next stage will see a fantastic new visitor hub created that will maintain the momentum.
"By creating an environment that responds to the needs of our communities and visitors alike we aim to attract even more people to enjoy the estate in future. I look forward to the main construction stage getting underway next year, when the old stable block will be reborn for the next generation."
The construction stage of the new building is expected to start March 2018.