Maybole Castle is Offered to the Local Community
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Maybole Castle has been offered to local community groups in Maybole by the trustees of Cassillis Estate.

Recently, a presentation was made Councillor Andy Hill, leader of South Ayrshire Council, Cathy Jamieson MSP, Sandra Osborne MP, Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire, local voluntary groups and potential funders.

The presentation was made by David Kiltie, chairman of May-Tag Ltd and Maybole Community Council, and Peter Walker, of Maybole Resource Centre, who said that the estate trustees are willing to pass Maybole Castle to the community, provided a partnership company involving the local community council, historical society, community association, business association and May-Tag Ltd can be formed.

The aim would be to establish a local heritage centre, a family history centre, a natural history centre, an arts & craft studio, a café, an education facility as well as a tourist information point. It is also hoped that the castle can be used for functions and meetings with the grounds restored to an 18th century kitchen garden.

May-Tag has been offered a £450,000 grant from Historic Scotland for work on the castle roof, also a £5,000 grant from Awards for All towards architects’ costs.  Discussions are also taking place with the Heritage Lottery Fund for further funding of the project.

Also in partnership with Cassillis estate, a Social Enterprise project is planned involving a 600 acre woodlands scheme, which will have a woodchip project, woodland management, craft centre, hedging, dry stone dyke building, and charcoal projects which will offer new employment and training and opportunities.  The partnerships are also investigating a community-composting scheme with a local commercial company.

At the presentation Cathy Jamieson said she whole-heartedly supports this major project in Maybole, adding, “I was excited to learn of May-Tag's innovative proposals for Maybole Castle. There are real opportunities to make the most of Maybole's most famous landmark and I am delighted to offer my support for this project which could help to sustain and preserve the future of the castle. May Tag has been investigating a range of possible options for the castle and I am certainly keen to continue working with community organisations, South Ayrshire Council and local businesses to help make this a reality.”

Leader of South Ayrshire Council Andy Hill said the council would do all it could to assist and advise on issues that this project may experience.

Alan Martin of Maybole District & Business Association said that the innovative project would have a major impact on bringing tourist and visitors to the town, which would bring a benefit to the whole community.

Sandra Osborne MP said, “I am delighted that this exciting initiative has been taken to upgrade the castle and at the same time provide local employment. Having had a tour of the castle by the Historical Society I can see for myself the great potential for development and it was also good to see the commitment to everyone working together to achieve a good outcome for Maybole. The idea has my full support although I recognise it will be hard work for everyone involved.” (November 2005)