A pressure group bidding to save Ayr’s stricken Station Hotel insist the building DOES have a future.
Those behind the Action Group are adamant that all hope is not lost, despite the sorry saga at the top of the town.
And they have called on officials at both local and national level to sit down for meaningful talks aimed at breaking the deadlock.
Historian Esther Clark is spearheading the group’s attempts to change the narrative which has the hotel heading for demolition.
At a meeting convened in the Town Hall, she gathered three speakers who spoke passionately on the potential of brighter days ahead for the iconic hotel.
Esther told the Ayrshire Post: “We have long believed this is a cause worth fighting for and that the hotel can be saved.
“The people of this town have been let down long enough and told just to accept the situation.
“We firmly believe there is an alternative to that and are not prepared to give up on the building.”
Among those who spoke at the Town Hall were former architect Michael Davis, who told the audience: “If we can’t save the Station Hotel, we can’t save Ayr; and if we can’t save Ayr, we can’t save any other towns in Scotland.”
Iain Wotherspoon, convenor of the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland Strathclyde Panel, argued that the carbon investment which went into the building upon construction 130 years ago would be lost.
He said taking the wrecking ball to the hotel would simply add to Ayr’s reputation as “Scotland’s most demolished town tag”.
Londoner George Allan, who contributes to SAVE Britain’s Heritage, claimed the current tent around the hotel – costing £50,000 per month – was doing the fabric of the building “more harm than good”.
It was also revealed that SAVE’s repeated requests to enter and survey the hotel had been turned down by South Ayrshire Council on safety grounds.
A report from SAVE has estimated that the hotel, due to its important historic nature, could merit lottery investment of up to £5 million, with further finance and grants from other bodies to an estimated £12.4m.
Harry Corrigan, committee member of the Save Station Hotel Action Group, added: “We have a dedicated core of around eight to ten members who are prepared to keep fighting this.
“I think most people realise the hotel’s value to the town – it is the welcome to Ayr and the first thing you see.
“It has been allowed to get into this terrible state but that doesn’t mean we should give up.” the options.”
We told earlier this week how sacffolding around the building – which is costing the taxpayer £50,000 per month – has been damaged for the second time in 12 months.
Winds have blown two giant holes in the white dome which encases the hotel in a bid to protect both it and the public from damage.
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