Sep 4 2009 by Stef Lach, Kilmarnock Standard
THE redevelopment of the floral clock at Kilmarnock Railway Station looks to finally be on track after years of talks, thanks to an £80,000 grant from the Railway Heritage Trust.
The cash will be added to the funds East Ayrshire Council has already committed to the project, which will result in a complete overhaul of the site, which is the focal point of the station.
The scheme, which has received full planning consent, will comprise of a new clock face and landscaping, as well as the introduction of imaginative lighting and water features.
The project will provide an eye-catching feature at a highly prominent location in the town centre.
The project also involves the repair of the extensive sandstone boundary wall, which forms part of the B-listed station. This work will introduce opportunities for local trainees to develop new skills in relation to traditional stone masonry techniques.
As an extension to the floral clock project, the council has agreed to make a new application to the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Regeneration Fund for large-scale environmental improvements within Kilmarnock town centre, with the aim of improving connections between the railway station and the town centre.
The outcome of this latest applications is expected to be announced next month.
Councillor Douglas Reid, leader of the council, said: “I am delighted that the Railway Heritage Trust has agreed to support the floral clock project with such a substantial financial contribution.
“I am confident that the exciting new scheme, which builds on the success of the floodlighting of the Railway Viaduct, will provide a real attraction both for residents and visitors to the town. I will be delighted to see the project starting on site in the coming weeks.”
Councillor Jim Buchanan, regeneration spokesman, said: “Although we will be up against much competition from other towns, I am confident the Kilmarnock bid to the Town Centre Regeneration Fund has an excellent chance of success.”
Meanwhile, the council has also agreed to submit a bid for funding to redevelop the former Co-op site in Darvel.
Following the partial demolition of the buildings, the proposed scheme would involve redevelopment for both commercial and residential use.
Councillor Bobby McDill said of the Darvel plans: “The proposed scheme would greatly enhance the appearance and amenity of Darvel town centre and would bring new life into this vacant site.
“I am optimistic that the Scottish Government will recognise the huge impact that this project could have on Darvel.”