AYR Station Hotel Action Group held their first public meeting on Friday night at Ayr Town Hall.

Those who are interested in the project joined together to formalise the Action Group and discussed how they should act to save the hotel.

Some 30 people were encouraged to join the movement and it is hoped that more will sign up when the group have a permanent base in the town. 

There are six campaigners on the committee. 
The evening was chaired by Colin Smyth MSP, Member of the Scottish Parliament for South Scotland who represents Scottish Labour and is spokesperson for Rural Economy, Connectivity and Transport.

Their key speaker was Rebecca Cadie a Director of ARPL Architects based in Ayr and a Trustee and Vice Chair of Glasgow City Heritage Trust. 
She explained what options there are and how the hotel can be saved short term and long term.

Esther Clark, of the Ayr Station Hotel Action Group, said: “So far as I can see the best option for the town might be, if the building is viable and immediate safety concerns addressed and the council purchase it, a commercial development of the 75 bedroom block for First Time Buyers. 

“Perhaps there could be a Wedding Suite which had self catering facilities so that it could be inexpensive for local people. If there was a Community Restaurant in the complex and it could cater, then it could bring in a commercial income. 

“This is long term investment but it will cost probably £20m to build a new station that will look like General Accident or Burns House in thirty years plus £4m to demolish a beautiful building we have. 

“It will cost around £30m or so to conserve “The Castle in Ayr ‘ as it was described in the Mail when it was built in 1885. It will last another hundred years and more if is restored. Why SAC have sat on this for five years beats me.”