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Ayr Common Good - Former Darlington Church

Ayr Common Good - Notice of consultation

Section 104 of the Community Empowerment(Scotland) Act2015

Former Darlington Church, Main Street, Ayr KA8 8AB

Notice is hereby given in terms of Section 104 of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 that South Ayrshire Council is considering disposing of Common Good property at former Darlington Church, Main Street, Ayr KA8 8AB. Further details are provided below.

Consultation closed Tuesday 19th January 2021

Responses received were as follows: (attachment)

Darlington Church Consultation Feedback (PDF) [2MB]

Details of the Property

Former Darlington Church is a building of sandstone construction, having a pitched roof with a slate covering. The two- storey property was most recently utilised by a performing arts company and provides 2 large open plan areas with office and storage space on the ground floor.

The former Church dates from 1860 and is a category B-listed building. It is also currently listed on the Buildings at Risk Register maintained by Historic Environment Scotland.

The property has been vacant for a number of years and will require to be refurbished ahead of any future use.

The property, with ground attached, is shown outlined and cross-hatched black on the attached plan. The former Church comprises 802 sq. m (8,633 sq. ft) gross internal floor space.

Details of the Proposal

The Council proposes to sell the Property to a community interest company (CIC), The Iris Arts Ayr CIC, who are presently the tenants of the property under a two year lease. The prospective purchasers intend to redevelop the building to form a Community Arts Hub to be called 'The Iris' to develop wider community participation in theatre, film and music.

The Iris Arts Ayr CIC was formed in July 2019 with a clear goal in mind; to bring the Category B Listed Former Darlington Church back into use as an affordable, inclusive and engaging community arts venue, focusing on community cinema, community theatre and live music and aim to do this with a sustainable model, making sure that every decision is taken with operational efficiency in mind and to create a legacy for years to come.

The building will play host to three creative areas. On the ground floor there will be a community hub with creative space to hire for events, exhibition and rehearsal and a café/bar/live music venue completes downstairs. Upstairs on the first floor a 160 seater auditorium is still in place from Borderline Theatre's occupancy and will be refurbished to be used a community cinema, theatre and larger live music venue.

The Company's vision is to create a home for a happy community making the arts accessible to all. The Iris will offer a wide range of artistic experiences and will be a cultural hub for the community to express itself, both as individuals and a collective and a space where the community can exhibit what it has created. They aim to provide a warm, friendly, inclusive and regenerated space in a part of Ayr that inspires civic pride. The Iris will provide opportunities to express, create and learn, regardless of experience, gender, social or ethnic background.

The Iris Arts will strive:

  • To create an entertaining and inclusive arts programme, designed, shaped and informed alongside the community.

  • To take the economic situation of the community into account, ensuring that no one is ever priced out of engaging with the arts.

  • To provide a platform that allows emerging artists to take chances and experiment, whilst ensuring that established artists have a high quality framework in place to deliver their excellent work.

  • To make a noticeable difference in the education, confidence and ability of our young people via education and outreach programming.

  • To create a social platform for the community to both access local services and shape arts their local area.

  • To deliver in-house productions in keeping with the existing artistic policy.

  • To diversify various income streams, constantly being flexible and aware of potential in order to ensure self-sufficiency.

  • To link with local enterprise to ensure The Iris contributes to the local economy.

The proposed sale may require the consent of the Sheriff under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 Section 75 (2) (Disposal, etc. of land forming part of the common good). Any representations relating to the proposal should be submitted either by email or in writing to

Sarah Baird
Team Leader - Community Asset Transfer
Asset Management and Community Asset Transfer
South Ayrshire Council
County Buildings
Wellington Square

Representations must be received by the Council by no later than 5pm on Tuesday 19th January 2021 and should state the full name and address of the person making the representation and the grounds on which they are made.

All representations received will be published. In order to protect the personal data of those making representations, the Council will remove any telephone numbers, mobile numbers, personal email addresses and signatures from published information.