Ayr Advertiser

Ex school is purchased


THE former Ayr Grammar School building has been bought by a local business family, it’s been announced.

The Coughtrie family say they plan to turn the building, on the corner of Midton Road and Carrick Road, into a “unique destinatio­n” as part of their family business operation.

The property was put up for sale by South Ayrshire Council in March 2021.

It was sold to a private developer later that year, but those plans fell through, leading to the authority putting it back on the market last autumn.

The stone-built, category C-listed former primary school was built in 1909, and the separate schoolhous­e, of similar vintage and constructi­on, comprises three rooms, a kitchen and a bathroom.

The property covers almost one acre of ground.

The Coughtrie family already owns several businesses in the town, and posted details of the purchase of the building on the Facebook page of one of them, Cafe 51 – located just across the road from the school building.

A spokespers­on for the family said: “The Coughtrie family are delighted to announce the purchase of the former Ayr Grammar School, Midton Road, Ayr from South Ayrshire Council on June 30, 2023.

“Establishe­d on Ayr High Street in 1980, Pandora and Creative Designs relocated to our current premises on New Bridge Street (opposite Ayr Town Hall) and Carrick Road (opposite The Grammar School) in 1984 to make way for the Kyle Centre.

“Thirteen years ago we also opened Café 51 and Creative Classics on Beresford Terrace, Ayr.

“The retail offering in Ayr, like many town centres, has declined since the 80s; it is our intention to develop the iconic Grammar building under the family business into a unique destinatio­n.

“We will give updates as we progress through the statutory procedures to fulfil our ambitions.”

Within weeks of the building being listed for sale more than two years ago, a company was set up with an eye on purchasing the building and turning it into a “Museum of Ayrshire”.

However, the group behind those plans criticised the council for not supporting its idea.

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