Academy move for archives

the archives include this black and white postcard of Burns Cottage, Alloway (c. 1930)
the archives include this black and white postcard of Burns Cottage, Alloway (c. 1930)

The Ayrshire Archives Centre could move into the heart of Ayr following a decision at South Ayrshire Council.

The proposal is for the archives to become part of the Ayr Academy redevelopment project, giving much better community access to Ayrshire’s unique documented past.

Around £11.6 million will be spent renovating the building to become the new home of Ayr Grammar as of autumn 2019, in a project that also includes a nursery and community facilities. This proposal would also see the Ayrshire Archives Centre operate as part of the project linking the school with South Harbour Street.

Councillors will have an opportunity to review the plans and costs for the addition of the Ayrshire Archives Centre this October as part of the Council’s requirements to relocate from the existing facility at Auchincruive, where the Council is a tenant. The current owners, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), plan to redevelop the Auchincruive site.

The Council’s delivery partner, SWHub will now progress the design for the scheme, together with detailed surveys to provide a layout and costs for the inclusion of the Ayrshire Archives Centre; further discussions will also take place with Planning and Historic Environment Scotland.

Councillor Peter Henderson, Resources and Performance Portfolio Holder said: “Bringing the Ayrshire Archives Centre into the heart of Ayr makes a lot of sense. We want more people to have access to Ayrshire’s rich and colourful history and it would also mean important artworks could be viewed more easily.

“The main initiative is the new Ayr Grammar, but this is very much a community project and the archives would ensure the wider public can make the most of the revitalised iconic building too.

“We need to explore public access regarding the school, but separate entrances have already been discussed. There will be ongoing consultation to ensure we capture all views, as no final decision has been made.”