Big crowds mark major milestone for the Belleisle Estate
Thousands of people from across South Ayrshire have helped to celebrate a major milestone for a regeneration project at Belleisle Park.
A community event was held on Saturday 22 July to mark the halfway point in a project that’s currently breathing new life into the estate. Despite the rain showers around 2,500 people came to take part in crafts and archery, which were part of a wide-range of activities put on for families and children at ‘Belleisle Parklife’. The event celebrated a South Ayrshire Council and Heritage Lottery Fund project, which is being run in partnership with Friends of Belleisle and Belleisle Conservatory Ltd. With its history dating back to the 18th century, a comprehensive £3.7million programme to restore Belleisle Estate got underway in 2014, after the project secured a £1.9million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. With the project having now reached a major milestone, a celebration is being planned to mark the progress to date. Councillor Ian Cochrane, South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Sustainability and the Environment said the change was plain to see, “It was great to see so many people coming down to enjoy the park, with the changeable weather not managing to stop this significant community celebration. “The Conservatory’s looking fantastic after its refurbishment; ongoing improvements to the Walled Garden are helping to transform the space; while the new play park has already proved to be a big hit with children. “Alongside work to restore paths and in the wider landscaping, people are seeing real improvements to the estate, and with major work set to get underway to create a new visitor centre next year, Belleisle is set to become an even more attractive destination in future.” In the last three years, visits to Belleisle have doubled to 200,000 a year as more people come to see the attractions on offer. The next major project will see the old stables site being brought back to life as a visitor hub that will act as an anchor spot for everyone who comes here.