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What's on. BRICK Workshop

The UK’s leading regeneration charity, The Prince’s Regeneration Trust (PRT) is hosting a workshop in New Cumnock this October as part of the BRICK regeneration roadshow, where Scottish community groups will be able to receive professional advice from leading heritage and restoration experts.

BRICK stands for Building Resources, Investment and Community Knowledge and is a national learning and support programme that is part of PRT and is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Fifty-five sites in East Ayrshire and 38 sites in North Ayrshire are listed at risk on Historic Environment Scotland’s Buildings at Risk Register, and local community groups have become a vocal and practical force when it comes to reviving local buildings with historical or architectural significance. “Community groups play a pivotal role in taking on the revival of these important local assets, and there is an urgent need to equip them with the right skills to do so,” says Laura Norris, Programme Director of BRICK, The Prince’s Regeneration Trust.

The recently restored New Cumnock Town Hall will host a workshop designed to explore topics relating to governance, procurement and project management, all of which are essential to the planning of re-using historic buildings. The day will also see presentations on a range of historical regeneration projects. Gordon Neill, Development and Facilities Manager at Dumfries House, will explain how both Dumfries House and New Cumnock Town Hall were saved from dereliction. Those attending the workshop will also have the opportunity to take a tour of the Town Hall and the newly restored Cumnock Open Air Pool.

The Town Hall was originally built in 1888, but was closed in 2005 by the local authority. From this point, it fell into disrepair and was earmarked for demolition in 2014. Then in 2015, East Ayrshire Council passed on ownership to The Great Steward of Scotland’s Dumfries House Trust, and its successful revival is spearheading a masterplan for the regeneration of the whole town.

“The heritage-led regeneration in the village of New Cumnock really has been transformational for the community,” says Gordon Neil. “What has been most impressive is the real community spirit that has been harnessed. Without the support and enthusiasm of the local people, this development would not have been nearly as successful as it is.”

The workshop includes speakers from Dumfries House, HLF Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland and PRT. It will take place on Tuesday 3 October between 9.30am and 4.30pm.