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Image: The Bandstand in Girvan. Credit - Adventure Centre for Education.
Image: The Bandstand in Girvan. Credit - Adventure Centre for Education.

Getting the Band Back Together! AHF Supports New Plans for the Regeneration of Girvan Bandstand

6 March 2024

The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) is pleased to have awarded a Project Viability Grant to the Adventure Centre for Education (ACE) to explore and develop plans to regenerate a historic bandstand in Stair Park, Girvan, as a cafe and small events space. This was one of 14 awards made at the latest grants meeting, where projects across England, Scotland and Wales were awarded funding totalling £130,710.

Girvan Bandstand is a single story building constructed of brick, concrete, wood, tile and ironwork. Built in 1907, it was originally used as a tea kiosk. As well as providing refreshments to locals and tourists, it also played host to seaside entertainers, including Pierrot Troupes and musicians. In the 1960s, when seaside entertainment waned, the building was used by various community groups, including as a meeting place for elderly people. It fell into disrepair in the late 1990s.


Image: The Bandstand in Girvan. Credit - Adventure Centre for Education.

Today, Girvan Bandstand remains empty. Part of the floor has collapsed, and the building has been victim to antisocial behaviour, including graffiti and arson. Despite this, the interior retains some original panelling, decorative air vents and a historic fireplace.

ACE is a community-based charity that delivers a wide range of outdoor activity days and training courses to suit individuals and groups of all levels of ability and aspiration. Speaking to the building’s original use as a tea kiosk, the charity hopes to renovate Girvan bandstand into an indoor/outdoor cafe, with flexible seating and a take-away hatch for walkers and adventurers. Additionally, through running the cafe as a social enterprise, ACE plans to create work experience programmes for young people and people looking to get back into work. The bandstand will also be used as a venue for small events, such as hosting a musician for the annual Folk Festival, or as a pop-up venue for small independent makers and creators.

The plan is to restore as much of the building as possible, including the original ironwork from Saracen Foundry, to retain its shape and character, but to modernise the internal structure to ensure the space is viable and usable as a cafe and events space.

The AHF grant, awarded through the William Grant Foundation Tailored Support Fund, will support viability work, including community consultations and workshops; legal fees; the development of a business plan/operational model; and an assessment and report by an ironworks specialist.

Zanne Domoney-Lyttle, Funding Officer for Adventure Centre for Education, said:

‘Adventure Centre for Education are delighted to receive grant funding towards the Bandstand Project in Girvan. This funding means that we can fully plan the next steps of the renovation project, bringing the Bandstand one step closer to being restored and brought back to life for the community of Girvan.’

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