Okay, here’s the thing; when I bought the Barony St. John church and hall in December 2014, I thought the hall would be ideal for my charity as it had a massive training hall and a possible classroom off-shoot.
The church building on the other hand was a bit of a question mark. Should I / we keep it or sell it?
If it was sold, a property developer may buy it up and make it into flats but it’s a listed building so they’d be limited as far windows are concerned. And, having asked around, I found out that it would cost about £1million to convert the church into 12 luxury flats…..with no view except the side streets. 😦
Flats with views around the Ardrossan marina were selling for £75,000 and even if the developer got £80,000 per flat, he just wouldn’t make any money from this venture.
So maybe a big brewery like Witherspoons would take it over and it would become a pub / restaurant similar to a church development they have done in nearby Ayr. But would I really be happy with a pub on my doorstep? No, I don’t think so.
So, what if we kept it?,What could we do with it?
Obviously, if you took all the pews out, you’d be left with a massive big room which, in my eyes, would be ideal for an Events Centre.
Initially, I thought of making the upstairs gallery into accommodation so we could advertise residential courses – but I was soon convinced that the hall building should cater for our charity and the church building should be completely separate.
Maybe we could floor the hall building and put bunk-style residential accommodation up there? Well, it’s worth looking into.
Maybe the two buildings could be connected via the courtyard and we could have cafe facilities and extra toilet facilities for the Events Centre built in?
Now here’s another problem; if I get the funding to complete this vision and save this iconic building, it’s still going to be an empty building – albeit ready to open as a cafe / Events Centre. I would still need to get the cafe kitted out (crockery, cutlery, cooking equipment, food, etc.), the Events Centre kitted out (banquet tables, chairs, bar stock, glasses, decor, etc.), hire staff, promote the place, etc. etc. ….. and all of this will take cash – a lot of cash.
Where will this come from? Have I bitten off more than I can chew?
Answers on a postcard.