The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Monday, 20 August 2012

South Ayrshire Council announces 23rd Doors Open Day weekend 1 and 2 September 2012

An inspiring and artistic theme will again form part of Ayrshire’s 23rd Doors Open Day weekend in 2012, which is organised and managed by the Kyle and Carrick Civic Society, with support from other organisations including South Ayrshire Council and voluntary groups.

[Pictured left to right: South Ayrshire Council Deputy Provost Councillor Mary Kilpatrick; David Bell, managing director, Ayr Renaissance; artist Angela Steele; Councillor Ian Douglas; Councillor Corri Wilson and artist Isobel Short promote the 23rd annual Doors Open Day in Ayrshire on 1 and 2 September 2012.]

Running on 1 and 2 September, Doors Open Day offers a chance to take a sneak peek behind the doors of 78 buildings in Ayrshire – including castles, churches, townhouses, museums, towers, libraries and Council offices – and it’s all FREE!

Building on the success of the event last year, Ayr Townscape Heritage Initiaive (THI) has lined up a host of exciting and innovative art and culture events taking place in and around some of the buildings taking part in Doors Open Day.

The 10 Rooms exhibition at Holmston House returns again, offering an opportunity to try your hand at a new form of art – from willow weaving to cyanotypes, stained glass making to charcoal drawing – and even an art workshop for babies, all free of charge.

For the more adventurous, there’s a chance to see an exhibition on smuggling, forgery, robbery and criminal capers in the cells at the Old Court in Ayr Town Hall.

However, an irresistible attraction for art lovers and architectural enthusiasts alike will certainly be the art department at Ayr Academy – opening its doors to the public for the first time since 1995 during Doors Open Day.

The stunning art room in the school was built 100 years ago and was designed by James A Morris, an important, internationally renowned architect and a contemporary of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, whose influences can be seen throughout.

What better place to enjoy a series of life drawing and landscape classes with artist Michelle Letowska during the Doors Open Day weekend and, again, all free of charge?

In addition, there’s a wide-ranging series of fascinating and informative events, ranging from architectural tours, building techniques, inspirational streetscapes, sculpture, aerial views of Ayr and contrasting the old with the new as modern developments are compared to older buildings.

You can even take a trip to the top of Burns House and enjoy a truly stunning panoramic view of Ayr through the all-glass surrounds.

Ayr’s High street is also being rebuilt – in miniature – and you can even come along to make your own mini building and add it to the 3D Tiny Town model at the Citadel Leisure Centre, created by local school pupils.

The Doors Open Day programme is available from all Ayrshire libraries and online at

The comprehensive THI event programme can be viewed and downloaded at:  or you can pick up leaflets from Council offices, libraries and the THI office at 11 High Street, Ayr.

Councillor Bill Grant, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure said: "Once again, Doors Open Day offers a superb chance for us to explore many of the interesting, historic and iconic buildings across Ayrshire.

“It’s a great event and I’d encourage everyone to visit as many buildings as possible but also take the plunge and have a go at some of the activities on offer.

“There really is something for everyone this year, from drawing in an iconic room, to stained glass window making, willow weaving, filmmaking and more.

“But remember that many of the events and workshops require advance booking, so please check the brochure and leaflets to make sure you don’t miss out.

“Whatever your artistic passion, or whichever buildings pique your curiosity, the best bit is that it’s all completely free of charge!"

A list of all the Ayrshire buildings taking part can be found at and

Doors Open Days is Scotland’s largest free annual architectural event and is coordinated by the Scottish Civic Trust and supported by Historic Scotland.

Across Ayrshire it is organised by volunteers from the Kyle and Carrick Civic Society, with help from other voluntary groups and support from the three Ayrshire local authorities. In South Ayrshire it is supported by South Ayrshire Council, Ayr Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI), Ayr Building Preservation Trust and Ayr Renaissance. Part-funding for the event comes from the Lottery Awards for All grants scheme.

Since being established in 1967 members of the Kyle and Carrick Civic Society have campaigned to protect and improve the environment.  Members have a particular interest in the conservation of historic buildings, protecting open spaces, improving public transport and encouraging people to reside in town centres.
Ayr Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) is managed by Ayr Renaissance, the company responsible for the South Ayrshire Council’s regeneration strategy for Ayr Town Centre. THI aims to ensure the survival of the most important buildings within the historic heart of the town. To do this, THI make grant funding available to owners of buildings within the THI area for conservation and refurbishment works.

South Ayrshire Council is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

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