A letter signed by six MSPs has been sent to South Ayrshire Council calling on the local authority to publish a strategy for ensuring the fire-damaged Ayr Station Hotel is preserved.

The letter - sent to CEO of South Ayrshire Council Mike Newall on Friday, November 24 – outlines the concerns of MSPs from across the South West of Scotland regarding the future safety of the hotel which was damaged by a fire on September 25.

The letter begins by stating that all parties are “unified in wishing to see the listed Station Hotel made safe” and that all options for retaining the landmark should be “openly and carefully considered”.
Campaigners say that the statement acknowledges the recent advice of building conservation engineer Ed Morton who earlier this month prepared a strategy for stabilising the structure without the need for substantial demolition.

MSPs state: “We support these aspirations and agree that the possible loss of Ayr Station Hotel would be a huge blow for Ayr’s and Scotland’s heritage. 

"We resolved to seek government intervention to assist the council with achieving an outcome which benefits the people of Ayr and the heritage of the town.”

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The letter follows a roundtable meeting last week at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh where MSPs met with local groups to discuss the future of the threatened landmark.

Henrietta Billings, director of conservation charity SAVE Britain’s Heritage, said: “SAVE welcomes this intervention by MSPs who have made it clear to South Ayrshire Council that they wish to see Ayr Station Hotel made safe and all options for the rescue and reuse of this landmark building openly and thoroughly discussed before any hasty decisions about total demolition.

"Their letter coincides with encouraging news that Ayr is set to benefit from £20 million of Levelling Up funding and reports that a hotel operator interested in taking on the building.

"The council has the opportunity to transform the fortunes of this fantastic building and to use its revitalisation to spearhead the regeneration of the town.

"They must use it."

A spokesperson for South Ayrshire Council said: “We have a statutory responsibility under the Building (Scotland) Act 2003 to ensure that the building is made safe.

"The contractor is making good progress and we are hoping to partially reopen the road bridge to pedestrians in the very near future. We are also working with our partners to get trains safely running again.

“It’s a complex situation and those working on the site are best placed to determine the extent of the safety works. They are concentrating on the southern section at the moment and will then look at the northern section in due course.

"Works will end when there is no longer any danger to the public and adjacent infrastructure. We are in continuing dialogue with Historic Environment Scotland."

Earlier this month, South Ayrshire Council released a status update on the hotel confirming complex safety works are still continuing at the site.