Conservation engineer offers help to save Ayr’s Station Hotel

Conservation engineer offers help to save Ayr’s Station Hotel

Ayr train station before the fire

Architects and conservation experts have joined forces to campaign for Ayr’s fire-hit Station Hotel to be saved.

Twenty top figures have penned a joint letter to South Ayrshire Council arguing that, if repaired, the landmark building would lend itself to a variety of new uses and could act as a catalyst for the renaissance of the town.

In the letter, SAVE Britain’s Heritage offered the services of an experienced conservation structural engineer to conduct a specialist survey of Ayr Station Hotel in order to assess the damage from the recent fire.

Ed Morton, managing director of the Morton Partnership, carried out a detailed condition survey of the Category B-listed building this summer.

SAVE’s director Henrietta Billings, told council chief executive Mike Newall and the council’s building standards team leader Hugh Talbot that this means Mr Morton knows the building better than most people.

Calling on his long experience of historic and neglected buildings, Ed would offer urgent advice on the structural stability of the building, an approach to making it stable if necessary, and how much fabric can be saved. His approach would be to work alongside the council’s advisors and to offer his expertise.

Ed could also advise on the minimum intervention necessary to make the building safe, while maintaining as much of the fabric as possible.

Henrietta Billings, director of SAVE Britain’s Heritage, said the fire was “a tragic day for Ayr and for historic buildings in Scotland”.

She added: “It is shocking that this listed building could be hit by another fire - this time much more serious it seems. It is one of the most fiercely debated and scrutinised buildings in the town. We urgently need a survey of the building now to understand its structural condition following the fire and how much of the station hotel can be saved. The causes of the fire must be fully investigated, and those found responsible held accountable.”

Matthew Mckeague, chief executive officer at The Architectural Heritage Fund, said: “It is extremely tragic to see this, so soon after the report produced by SAVE and funded by the Architectural Heritage Fund demonstrated that the reuse of Ayr Station Hotel was indeed possible. Too many historic buildings are lost forever like this, we can only hope that something of the hotel can be salvaged and put back into use.”

Ed Morton, managing director of The Morton Partnership, said: “I was deeply saddened to hear the news of the further fire at The Station Hotel, which I visited only a short time ago and which was found to be in a condition where repairs and re-use of the building was perfectly possible. Whilst the fire has clearly affected the structure, I would imagine the walls and solid floors have survived and can be hopefully re-used.”

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