The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 7 December 2007

£150m Auchincruive regeneration will
create 2000 new jobs in Ayrshire

AN OUTLINE planning application to invest up to £150million in the transformation of 300 hectares of Ayrshire land, bringing more than 2,000 jobs to the local community, has been lodged with South Ayrshire Council.

The proposed masterplan for the regeneration of the Scottish Agricultural College’s Auchincruive Estate, near Ayr, was lodged by joint applicants AWG Property - appointed by SAC to spearhead the redevelopment - and SAC.

The masterplan will see the redevelopment of listed Oswald Hall (pictured above) into a hotel and conference centre, an 18-hole championship golf course, equestrian centre and additional leisure and outdoor facilities.

The proposal will also see the creation of state-of-the-art business and research units, and a sensitively developed residential element, providing opportunities for individuals and families to both work and have access to leisure opportunities on-site. It is estimated that in total the project is likely to create over 2,000 jobs, and the value to the economy generated by the completed development is estimated to be £80m per annum.

The masterplan comes as part of the SAC's plans to transform its business and estates to meet the challenges of the 21st century, enabling reinvestment to provide state-of-the-art facilities and services in Ayrshire, including the development of Craigie Campus in Ayr. SAC will retain an element of research and business related functions at Auchincruive.

The phased transformation of the estate will take account of its rich natural and historic heritage, retaining a number of historic aspects of the site. The listed buildings located within the site boundary, including Oswald Hall, Oswald's Temple/Tea House, Wilson Hall (pictured above) and Gibbs Yard will be retained, sensitively refurbished, upgraded and reused for a variety of purposes. Important landscape features, such as the extensive woodland copses, ornamental gardens and the arboretum will be retained and restored, and in the case of the woodland areas, will be supplemented as necessary.

The estate is well used by the public for outdoor recreation purposes and as part of the overall development strategy, it is proposed that the existing network of car parks, footpaths, cycleways and bridleways be supplemented to improve public access.

AWG Property managing director Tony Donnelly said: “The proposed redevelopment of the stunning Auchincruive estate is extremely exciting and will create over 2,000 jobs, as well as considerably enhancing the local offering through a mix of commercial, residential and leisure opportunities.

“In finalising these proposals we were aware of the high regard in which the estate is held and, in conjunction with SAC, have ensured the masterplan is sympathetic to the site's rural character, taking into accounts its rich natural and historic heritage, while offering the best facilities.

“The strategy throughout the community engagement exercise undertaken was to ensure that all the key parties involved had the opportunity to feed into the process, and we have taken this input into account in developing a proposal which Ayrshire can be proud of.”

SAC chief executive Professor Bill McKelvey said: “Proposals for the regeneration of Auchincruive will not only secure a sustainable future for SAC in the south west of Scotland, but also help realise the full potential of the estate for the benefit of the local community in Ayrshire. We are pleased to be working in partnership with AWG to facilitate this development.

“The release of land at Auchincruive will enable us to invest in state-of-the-art facilities and services in south west Scotland, benefiting both students and clients. Our aim is to provide fit for purpose education and training services through developing partnerships with Higher and Further Education Institutions through securing appropriate modern facilities for staff and students. A major part of the SAC plan is to develop a joint Higher Education campus in partnership with University of Paisley at Craigie campus in Ayr. This planned development is important for the ongoing economic development of Ayrshire and will make a major contribution to the local community.”

[Picture shows the SAC's Ayr Campus at Auchincruive.]

The public will be able to view the proposed plans at Oswald Hall, Auchincruive; at Carnegie Library in Ayr High Street and on the SAC website at:

AWG Property was selected by SAC to develop a vision for the long term regeneration and use of the site following an exhaustive selection process during 2005.

The Concept Masterplan will provide a context for the future development of Auchincruive. Detailed design proposals will be formulated in discussions with South Ayrshire Council and other stakeholders such as Historic Scotland to ensure that a high quality living, working and leisure environment is achieved.

Should the proposals be agreed, it is agreed that work on site will commence in early 2009 and be completed in phases up until 2016.

The Auchincruive site is located on the B743 Ayr to Mauchline road about 3 miles inland from the centre of Ayr itself.

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