• Ayrshire Daily News

Karate Training Station project on the right track after further funding boost

Shibumi Karate Club in Saltcoats has received a funding boost to the tune of £50,000 for its ‘Training Station’ project through North Ayrshire Council’s Community Investment Fund.

Left to right, North Ayrshire Council Leader Joe Cullinane, John Wilson (Community Liaison Executive, ScotRail), John Deans (Shibumi Karate Club) and Andy Barclay (Shibumi Karate Club).

In excess of £400,000 has already been secured for the project from a range of partners including ScotRail, the Railway Heritage Trust, Sport Scotland and the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund

The Training Station project involves the conversion and refurbishment of part of Saltcoats railway station to form an 81 square metre flexible community space. A large, fully accessible, multi-functional space will be created through the removal of a dividing wall, with works also set to include the construction of a toilet and wet/changing room.

The main hall will offer a wi-fi network and multi-media screen and projector for training/local meetings and presentations.


It is hoped that the project will promote community regeneration and civic pride through the re-purposing of a Category B listed building, developing community facilities which will contribute to the community’s health and well-being.

Councillor Louise McPhater, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “This is a fantastic project which will not only help to address the need for quality local facilities, but also brings a previously unused area of a historical local building back into use.

“We are thrilled to be able to contribute to the funding of this venture through our Community Investment Fund and look forward to seeing this part of the building brought back to life and being enjoyed by the local community.”

John Wilson, ScotRail Community Liaison Executive, said: “It’s fantastic to see the real difference that these grants are making to local communities, and Sensei Dean has shown a real commitment to create something for the people of Saltcoats to be a part of.

“We know how important the railway is to the communities we serve, and we want to do all we can to strengthen and support that link.”

Andy Savage, Executive Director of the Railway Heritage Trust, added: “The Railway Heritage Trust was pleased to award a grant of £125,000 to The Training Station towards conversion of the building at Saltcoats Station - our second largest grant for 2018/19. 

“I first met John Deans over three years ago and the RHT has supported his initiative ever since. 

“The objective of bringing redundant railway accommodation back into use is one of the key aims of the RHT and we wish The Training Station every success in providing much-needed facilities for the local area.”

Sensei John Deans of Shibumi Karate Club said: “I am delighted that the dream I have had for years is getting this level of support and backing.

“I am positive that this project will be a massive success and improve the opportunities for many in the Three Towns and beyond.”