‘All change’ at Kilmarnock station
Vacant station buildings have been transformed into a bustling community hub, thanks to the continued dedication of local community group.
A grant from the stations community regeneration fund (SCRF), which aims to help businesses and community groups convert empty station buildings into spaces which benefit the community, has seen the revamp of Kilmarnock’s station.
Kilmarnock Station Railway Heritage Trust also received funding from the Railway Heritage Trust, and the East Ayrshire Council’s Renewable Energy Fund, allowing them to invest around £500,000 in the station’s restoration.
Work to bring seven rooms, which were stripped back to their brickwork in 1998, back to life, has transformed the station and the recently refurbished underpass has made connections to the town centre and new Kilmarnock College campus bright and vibrant.
Now plans are afoot to convert redundant space at street level into additional office space, a bike workshop, complimentary and art therapy rooms, and locker/shower rooms.
Passengers and passers-by alike can enjoy a cup of tea and a cake in the ‘Storm in a teacup’ café with their head in a book from the ‘Killie Browser’ book shop. There is also a gift shop and archive rooms for the Glasgow & South Western Railway Association.
The trust rents out office space to local businesses, and hires out the rooms to other community organisations from a variety of backgrounds – ranging from yoga and art classes to community mental health teams and walking groups.
The unused spaces were converted into a book shop, café, gift shop, and office spaces. The trust also hire out the rooms to other community organisations from a variety of backgrounds – ranging from yoga and art classes to community mental health teams and walking groups.
Jacqueline Taggart, ScotRail Alliance customer experience director, said “It’s a pleasure to travel through Kilmarnock station and admire the fantastic work undertaken by the Kilmarnock Station Railway Heritage Trust. The station truly is at the heart of the community, and it’s wonderful to see so many people benefitting from it.”
Alex Smith, chair of Kilmarnock Station Community Heritage Trust, said: “Kilmarnock Railway Station Heritage Trust was formed to transform the redundant room at the station to be used as a community village. Our success is through volunteers, groups and services working together to build community recovery in East Ayrshire.
“We have over forty groups and services and over a hundred volunteers working and meeting regularly in the room at the station.
“The trust is continuing to develop and work in partnership to meet the demand and needs of the people of East Ayrshire. Our aim is to build a better community in a safe friendly supported environment.”