Girvan townhouse’s future is still in doubt

Doubts remain this week over the future of Girvan’s Knockcushan House after a special meeting was held on Monday evening.

Representatives from a whole host of community groups were in attendance at the Carrick Buildings, as were Girvan and South Carrick councillors Alec Clark and Alec Oattes.

Chairing the meeting was Gus Collins, the council’s community engagement officer, who gave an update on the state of the townhouse, which is due to be open again in less than a fortnight.

Mr Collins said: “There has been a replacement of the internal walls while all the rooms from the attic to the basement are well on their way.

“The ground floor will be the last to be completed, but I was pleasantly surprised when I saw it recently.”

However, there is still no agreement within the community as to who is going to be running the townhouse.

Concerns have also been raised at the prospect of the costs of the upkeep of Knockcushan house as Mr Collins revealed it would cost £8000 a year for the electricity in the building. Others 
wanted to know about the costs of insurance, fire safety 
certificates and if the council was willing to supplement the funding of these costs for a year to allow community groups 
using the building time to find their feet.

There has been no such commitment from the council, which is extremely keen to see the building put back into community hands but no final decisions were taken on Monday night relating to the leasing of the townhouse.

This was emphasised by Alec Clark who said: “This was an idea first proposed by the community who were keen to get involved and the council were happy to fund that.

“This is a historic building and I’m sure the people of 
Girvan will get behind it.”

Many ideas were mooted at the possible use of the townhouse including from the nearby community garden, but they wished to know more about facilities, including 
wi-fi and office space before making a firm commitment.

Andrew Sinclair, chairman of the South Carrick Community Leisure group, said his organisation would “by all means” be happy to have a space in the building if this was possible but again no firm decision was made.

Mr Collins finished by saying that all the possible uses for the townhouse needed to be collated into one which will mean a more focused discussion in future.

As such, an open-day event has been arranged for Tuesday, September 17, between 2pm and 8pm for the community groups to visit the site which they might not have seen before. This will then 
allow them hopefully to come to a decision on how they can utilise the space within the townhouse for their particular organisation.