A significant sum was granted by the Architectural Heritage Fund without which the feasibility study would not have been possible. Efforts are still being made to close the funding gap, which will permit further progress. The local MP the Rt Hon Brian Wilson has been approached and has agreed to meet to discuss how he might assist.
Sornhill House is a fine Ayrshire Laird's House, but it has regrettably featured now for some time in the Civic Trust 'Buildings at Risk' Register, and as time passes it will no doubt continue to deteriorate. The trust has had discussions with the owner of Sornhill House and put forward some proposals. The result has been that the property has been advertised and has now been sold.
The buildings at 12 Strand Street and 1-3 Dunlop Street were listed category C(s) in August 02 in recognition of their historical importance and their essential contribution to an early part of the Kilmarnock townscape. The trust has been able to trace a commercial use for the property from about 1820, but it may have been constructed a little earlier. During this period one of the properties has been a well-known Public House and the trust had hoped to find a link to Johnnie Walker. It is the Trust's intention, subject to the agreement of Historic Scotland, to restore the property with the main entrance on the gushet elevation.
Despite the recent fire, the Trust still hopes to be involved in this project, working with a Kilmarnock based arts company, The Tradition Bearers and Common Ground Scotland.
This project in Beith is part of a Townscape Heritage Initiative. Andrew Easton, a director of the AAHT, was the Architect for the project which has recently received the Glasgow Institute of Architects Commendation and Dynamic Place Award. The Heritage Building Preservation Trust (formerly St. Vincent Crescent Preservation Trust) were involved. - more information and pictures