A community space in Maybole has been transformed thanks to work from talented students of a renowned craft training programme based at Dumfries House.

Craftspeople from around the UK and as far afield as Japan enrolled in the Building Arts Programme this year, an eight-month course delivered through a collaboration between The King’s Foundation and Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust - QEST.

They worked to transform a former community space by utilising skills in woodwork, glass-blowing, textiles, wallpaper production with natural pigment, cabinet-making and tiling using the Nerikomi technique.

The shop unit at number 44 in the High Street, or ‘The Gatherings’ as it is now known, is a welcoming flexible space for retail, exhibitions, workshops, and much more.

Claire Bryan is an assistant manager at North Carrick Community Benefit Company (NCCBC), which owns the shop.

They distribute community benefit funding from ScottishPower Renewables’ nearby Dersalloch wind farm, and manage all kinds of community development projects across the local area.

Claire said: “NCCBC has saved the shop from collapse and restored the building to a point where it formed a blank canvas for the students to turn into a flexible space for retail, exhibitions, workshops, and much more.

“The students have done an excellent job of incorporating the identity of the town into their designs. It will feel like more of a destination with these features and people excited to see them up close.

"Maybole has a strong sense of self and, with all the projects happening as part of the town’s regeneration, the history and social history of the area is important to people."

Michael Goodger, built environment education manager at The King’s Foundation, added: “We saw an opportunity to create something tangible and lasting.

"The students have responded to the fabric of an existing building at the heart of the high street and in doing so have been able to showcase their craft skills to a wide audience, creating a special new space that will be well looked-after.

“I hope The Gatherings inspires people to see the potential of traditional craft skills, and evokes a sense of pride and nostalgia in the town.

“It's part of a bigger regeneration project in Maybole, where a lot of money has been invested in the high street and the castle.

"It is a nice example of what you can do with the care and attention of craft skills to make a bespoke space.”