THE River Garden Auchincruive is developing nicely as a centre to help those recovering from drug or alcohol addiction.

MSP Brian Whittle visited the organisation which provides a residential training and social enterprise development centre offering people recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction the chance to live and work at Auchincruive for a number of years. 

When they join the programme, residents will receive training and support to learn new skills as they work to restore the Auchincruive Estate’s walled garden and turn it into a visitor destination.

Through this work, and with the support of staff and peer workers, residents can develop the resilience and life skills needed to avoid sliding back into addiction and work for a better future.

Brian Whittle MSP said: “Recovering from drug or alcohol addiction is a long, slow process. Being able to live and work somewhere like the River Garden project, where residents will receive full time support and have the time to deal with their addiction and move into sustained recovery in a safe, welcoming environment.”

Director Mark Bitel said: “Getting support and encouragement for our work is most valuable. We have already opened the gardens to the public and the support and encouragement from them has been overwhelmingly positive. 

Vice-chair Colin Crosbie added: “This was once one of the most historically important gardens in Scotland. We want to restore it back to one of the best gardens in Scotland of its kind.”