It is with a heavy heart that I have to inform you of my intention to put the former Barony St John church building in Ardrossan up for sale.
Almost six years ago, I bought the Barony St John buildings for my charity, The Scottish Centre for Personal Safety. Initially, we hadn’t planned on getting the church building as well but after seeing how beautiful the church organ and some of the windows are, we decided to make plans to try to use the hall building as our charity’s base and save the church building.
Throughout 2015, we concentrated on getting our charity Centre up and running in the hall building – purchasing training equipment, developing a strength and conditioning area for our clients.
In 2016, we received funding for a Feasibility Study for the church building and we set about asking local residents what THEY wanted to see the church building used for.
By 2017, we had completed this Study and the consensus was that the most viable option was that we should develop the church into a music venue.
Capable of seating almost 1,000 people, the venue would be able to host live music, plays, pantomimes, weddings, art exhibitions, sports events – you name it. And it would bring in visitors from all over Ayrshire and beyond. A great vision for the church building and an inspiring regeneration plan for Ardrossan, as a venue of this size would bring jobs and economic growth to the area.
From 2018 until 2020, we have tried our best to get backing for this project, not just financial backing but also project support from the Council and various “movers and shakers” in the area.
Despite our best efforts, unfortunately we could not get this project off the ground and when Storm Brendan hit and devastated the connecting corridor back in December last year, I began to think maybe it was an omen.
The church building now has several leaks from various missing roof tiles and this combined with the lack of heating for well over a decade in the building has caused plasterwork to collapse and window frames to become loose.
Every year the building is left derelict sees the chances of it being saved reduce further.
The time has come to let someone else have a go at saving this building before it is too late.
My charity will still operate out of the hall building but within the next month, the church building will be put on the market and hopefully this will give it a new lease of life.
Any and all reasonable offers will be considered…and when you think that properties on Arran Place, one tenth of the size of the church building, sell for between £500,000 and £750,000, you begin to realise that this could be a great investment for a budding property developer or someone keen on creating their dream home.
Any interested parties should contact the charity on info@ScotCPS.org.uk