South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has urged local people to have their say about the future of the former station hotel in Ayr before a public consultation ends in a week.
An independent feasibility study on the building, which is privately owned and in a poor condition, is underway.
The study, which has been commissioned by South Ayrshire Council’s Strategic Governance Group, will identify potential future options for the building, taking into consideration viability, costs and heritage.
A public consultation will form part of the study and is asking people for their views on what should happen to the building.
The consultation will run from until 14 September and can be accessed by going to www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/consultations
The responses from the consultation will form part of the feasibility study, which is set to be completed in the autumn of 2020.
Colin Smyth is a long-standing supporter of the local campaign to save the historic former hotel and bring it back into use for the community. The local MSP, who is Scottish Labour’s Transport Spokesperson has also worked closely with the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Union (RMT) to press for better staff and passenger facilities at the station after existing accommodation was closed when the former hotel building was placed under a Dangerous Building Notice in March 2018. Work recently began on temporary staff accommodation
Colin Smyth said: “It is very important that local people have their say about the future of this building, so I would urge as many people as possible to log on and express their views as part of this study before the consultation closes on 14 September.
“This consultation will identify potential future uses for their building and I would hope local people will come forward and contribute to the public consultation.
“While I am happy that we are finally seeing some action, it is long overdue.
“Rail trade unions and local campaigners have raised health and safety concerns over the state of the building for years, and there are serious questions to be asked over why so little action was taken to secure the building, as well as why it has taken so long to see real, tangible efforts to plan the future of this space.
“I firmly believe that we should do all we can to save this historic building as part of the wider development of a fit for purpose railway station for Ayr.
“There are a range of possible sources of funding that can be secured for historic buildings if there is the will there to save them. If the former hotel is just bulldozed and an ugly cheap glass and steel station building is put up instead, not only will we be back here in 20 years’ time looking to replace it, Ayr will have lost part of its proud heritage and that can never be replaced.”