Darvel is set for a new era in trading and socialising as the bulldozers moved in this week.
At their cabinet meeting, Councillors approved the demolition of the former Darvel Co-Op building to make way for an imaginative new scheme which will bring a garden and market place to the town.
Backed by Darvel Community Council, the plan is to make the site into a place where people can gather, hold events, promote trade and socialise with an attractive garden and space for a market promoting local farm produce and goods from local businesses.
Welcoming the news, Councillor Jim Roberts, Cabinet Member for Economy and Infrastructure said: “It’s very fitting that this long derelict site, which housed an old established co-op, founded to promote equality and fair trade for local people, will once again be a focal point for local produce and co-operative community events.
“With a total budget of £200K from our Town Centre Regeneration Fund, part of the Scottish Government’s allocation of £1.7m which East Ayrshire has been granted for 2019/20, the Community Council has already commissioned an architect to carry out design work, which will shortly be progressing to a planning submission.”
In the meantime the demolition squad are already getting to work, with Councillor Elena Whitham, Depute Leader, East Ayrshire Council declaring “ I think we all welcome this news. Residents were delighted, practically cheering as they saw the diggers arriving on site yesterday.
“This is a great use of our regeneration funds, all the more exciting as it’s truly a project for the community and by the community. It’s the epitome of what regeneration should be about, improving lives and prospects by cleaning up and renovating our built environment.”
The demolition will be a relatively short process, with site clearance taking a little longer. With a traffic management programme in place for the first 8 days, disruption will be kept to a minimum. Plans for the site will be available to view shortly