Former Barony pit site in East Ayrshire to be developed as an Eco-Therapy Wellness Centre
Over 100 acres of currently disused land at the site of the former Barony coal mine in East Ayrshire has been sold to a firm of property and regeneration specialists who have paved the way for the development of an Eco-therapy Wellness Park.
Identified by National Pride UK (Community Interest Company), as the perfect site due to its natural beauty and historical mining background, the company is committed to doing business differently, using local partners and suppliers to deliver maximum benefit to the community; delivering training and employment and working closely with the environment to operate in a carbon-negative fashion.
The site near Auchinleck is adjacent to Dumfries House and the Barony ‘A’ Frame memorial garden. The new owner’s plans include a desire to work with the Barony ‘A’ Frame Trust to enhance the permanent memorial and surrounding area as a place of contemplation and in memory of the miners lost during the life of the colliery.
Irene Bisset, Chair of National Pride, says, “This is the first of several developments planned by National Pride and our investor partners, to take disused land and better utilise it to deliver community benefit.
“Our backers range from international investors who appreciate the need to respect the planet, to local groups and individuals who each bring their talents to enhance community beneficial projects.
“National Pride understands that physical and mental wellness has never been more important, especially in the very testing time of lockdowns, and that physical and mental wellness is best delivered by enhancing access to the natural environment.
“Huge potential exists within abandoned and post-industrial spaces. Our task is to combine resources to ensure health and social benefits are maximised, whilst providing investors with commercially sustainable returns over the long term.”
David McDowall, interim Head of Planning and Economic Development at East Ayrshire Council welcomed the proposals. He said, “The Planning Service has held early discussions with National Pride to consider the development opportunities for the brownfield site as an Eco-Therapy Wellness Centre. As with any brownfield site, the Council is keen to explore the design proposals to establish the economic and environmental benefits to the local community.
“Once the development proposals are finalised, they will be subject to public consultation as part of the planning process, before the merits of the development against the Local Development Plan are considered by the Planning Committee.”