Monday, 18 February 2013
Vicon UK unveils £300 million Loudoun Castle masterplan
Proposals for a £300 million redevelopment of the former Loudoun Castle theme park site in East Ayrshire have taken a major step forward.
Ayrshire-based investment, consulting and project management company Vicon UK has been joined by investor FML to launch the ambitious masterplan, which proposes a world class championship standard 18-hole golf course, club house and educational golf academy, new whisky distillery, homes, retail and a food and drink ‘centre of excellence’ for the site.
As part of the plans, the 19th century Loudoun Castle itself will be fully redeveloped as the centrepiece to create a stunning five star hotel.
Loudoun Castle theme park, near Galston, closed its doors at the end of the summer season in 2010.
Vicon UK has submitted a notice of intention to lodge a detailed planning application for the golf course and golf academy with an in-principle application for the mixed use development on the 600 acre site.
The company will now work with council planning chiefs and consult with the local community in order to progress the planning applications.
Should this planning application be successful, Vicon is confident the project will create hundreds of new jobs in the construction and related industries and will channel over £300 million in investment over five to seven years into a community that would benefit greatly from new investment.
Vicon UK has pledged that local firms and contractors will be employed to deliver the project wherever possible. Kilmarnock-based Thomson Architects have already been appointed to create the blueprint for the site.
Neil Rattray, chief executive of Vicon UK said: “Since the closure of the theme park, there has been a great deal of interest in the future of the site.
“We have been working tremendously hard over a period of many months to ensure we attracted the right investor and have put together a realistic proposal that will deliver significant economic benefit to East Ayrshire.
“These plans have been created in consultation with the owner of the site, with the interests of Galston at heart and we are convinced that the people of Ayrshire and beyond will benefit hugely from this new investment in Scotland.
“There has already been significant consultation with the local community and we are confident we have its backing for these plans.
“We have already fully engaged with local elected members and Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley MSP Willie Coffey has welcomed this investment in Ayrshire and has given the overall masterplan his backing.
“We are committed to making this project a success and we will now work with our partners and stakeholders such as East Ayrshire Council to deliver a stunning development which will become a landmark centre of excellence destination in Scotland.”
It is anticipated the development will be powered by clean renewable energy. As part of the planning application, a renewable energy plan is proposed for the site, which will take the form of a district heating system incorporating PV solar systems and, potentially, a biomass plant.
The Loudoun Castle theme park was opened in the grounds of the 19th century country house in 1995. A number of the park rides have already been sold to other theme parks around the UK since its closure in 2010.
The Vicon team have significant business experience with residential and commercial property projects across Scotland and overseas, and have worked with clients including major pension and private investment funds.