Maybole Castle Community Project
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A successful options appraisal workshop was held at Maybole Town Hall Tuesday evening, January 12, as part of the Feasibility Study on the Maybole Castle Community Project.  The aim was to explore the viability of a number of proposed uses for the Castle.


There was a good turnout of around 30 residents of all ages covering a cross-section of residents, community group representatives and businesses.


The main consultants (Douglas Wheeler Associates Ltd and Robert Potter & Partners) provided an update on progress, presented the results of the recently competed community and youth surveys and outlined the results of the building and structural inspections. Presentation

Sixty people and forty two pupils of Carrick Academy took part in the surveys to identify the type of uses and themes they would like to see the castle used for in the future.  82% of people who took the survey felt that it is either important/very important that the castle is owned and managed by the local community.

The three most popular themes for the Castle were cultural heritage, tourism and the arts, and the three most popular future uses were a museum, art gallery/exhibition space and family history archive.


Environmental/eco-friendly and recreational uses were considered the most important themes for the future use of the grounds - such as a community wildlife garden or market garden.


The most popular uses for the castle chosen by the Carrick Academy pupils were anniversary and birthday events, a registry office for weddings, rooms for use by community, voluntary and charity groups and a museum. In the grounds of the Castle pupils would like to see a small park, market garden, wildlife centre and car parking.


Following the presentation, the workshop participants split into three smaller groups to review the main themes identified to secure a viable future for the Castle, discuss their preferred uses and identify any barriers to delivery.  The most appropriate themes were considered to be museum/family history related, the visual arts and holding local events.


The idea of establishing the Castle as a key component of a Kennedy family trail which could bring visitors to Maybole was also discussed.


The requirement to include viable uses that generate regular income and do not duplicate existing activities in the town and also protect the heritage of the castle and the importance of sensitively incorporating new uses were all recognised.


It was emphasised that the castle is not being considered in isolation and that links to other facilities in the town, such as the Town Hall and the proposed Carrick Centre are being taken account of as part of the emerging business plan.


It was recognised that the preferred scheme for the castle building and its outbuildings and grounds is likely to involve a ‘cocktail’ of different but complementary uses.


On behalf of Maybole Castle Community Trust David Kiltie, acknowledged the work the Maybole community is doing to ensure the Castle is restored and becomes a vibrant and viable part of life in Maybole and beyond. “We hope that the workshop will act as a further springboard to encourage more residents to play a role in the Castle’s future”.


The next step is to confirm the preferred option for adaptive reuse of the Castle, prepare a business plan that will include market testing of key uses, identifying funding sources, cost and revenue projections and long term management structure.


Further details of the workshop presentation can be found on the Maybole website





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