Galston is all go, with the re-opening of Cross Street to two-way traffic marking completion of the next phase of the town’s redevelopment.
With many of the town’s historic buildings undergoing extensive renovations thanks to grants from East Ayrshire Council and Historic Environment Scotland’s Conservation area Regeneration Scheme (CARS), it was then discovered that the former Co-op building, an outdated 1970s concrete and steel construction was in an unsafe condition and needed to be demolished.
This meant closing a small section of Cross Street, diverting HGV traffic from the town centre and evacuating the Council’s Local Area Office. The unavoidable disruption to town centre life was acknowledged by the team from East Ayrshire who ran “shop local” campaigns, weekend events for shoppers and business support sessions for the traders.
Councillor Elena Whitham said: “I’m sure everyone in Galston will be pleased to have the road open again. And it’s very exciting to see the newly cleared site which opens up a whole new perspective on the town. Having this phase complete means we can now move on with plans to renovate the area. Just last week, Cabinet approved funds of £3.2m to regenerate the site. We’re busy drawing up draft proposals and will soon be holding a public consultation, working closely with Galston Community Redevelopment Trust and the Community Council, to ensure we produce the best possible outcome for the people of Galston.
“Work continues apace at the former Portland Arms building across from the demolition site, and that means that the pavement on that side of the road will remain closed for a little while longer. But it will soon be finished and will be the new home of the Community Development Trust who’re busy finalising contracts with a number of organisations which will make their base in there once renovations are complete.
“It’s all very exciting, we’re very aware that the community has had a difficult time since the demolition started, and we salute them for their resilience. We all look forward to a new dawn and an exciting future for the glorious old buildings of Galston and the new, exciting opportunities that await.”