A RANKINSTON pensioner is determined to save an iconic crumbling hotel to preserve ‘the gateway to Ayr’.

Esther Clark, 77, is working around the clock to preserve the Ayr Station hotel in the hopes it can be restored to its former glory.

The ambitious campaigner has spent the past 18 months setting up websites, attending meetings, and advocating for the hotel which tragically fell to ruin.

It comes after a brutal structural report found close to 1000 defects in the crumbling Station Hotel in Ayr.

The investigation found collapsed ceilings on multiple floors, rat and pigeon droppings on surfaces and missing window panes are just some of the hundreds of problems.

But Esther is certain the eyes watering repair will of nearly £10 million would be worth every penny.

After years of intense research into the hotel and its history, she is certain saving the building is the best option.

She insists restoring the hotel would be much better than a new station which would be ‘nothing more than a glorified greenhouse’.

Esther said: “It is the entrance and gateway to Ayr, you see it when you come im from the rooad or train, visitors from all over are welcomed by it.

“Ayr has been neglected for a long time the station hotel has been in decline since the people are fearful to do anything about it since it is such a big job.

“They don’t realise it is probably the same price or less expensive to restore what we had rather than build a new one.

“It could last another 100 years instead of a new one, which could be a glorified greenhouse, that I think would only last about 25 years.

“Cumnock used to have very strong links with Ayr and people still come into town to visit it.

“If we had attractions in Ayr for them the more people will come and enjoy it, it used to be such a beautiful place.”

It is understood the owner of the Ayr station hotel is businessman Eng Huat Ung.

Scaffold contractor CPMS was hired as part of safety works after ScotRail staff were forced to abandon the building.

The fabric of the roof and perimeter walls are in “poor” or “very poor condition” in the the south section of the hotel but “reasonable” in the north according to the report.