Published Monday, 1st July 2019 in About SRUC news
Scotland’s Rural College is to remarket the east side of its Auchincruive site in Ayrshire.
Last year, SRUC announced a £35 million business case for the South and West of Scotland and a new campus at Barony, near Dumfries.
The decision to sell Auchincruive is part of the long-term strategy to base research and teaching at Barony. SRUC is pursuing partnerships with local colleges and other stakeholders to deliver rural skills training in Ayrshire.
The John F Niven building occupied by SAC Consulting, the consultancy arm of the college, and the Disease Surveillance Centre at Auchincruive are not for sale.
The site was previously offered for sale in 2017. The Auchincruive site was taken off the market last year to take a fresh look at options for the site.
SRUC’s explored community ownership or transferring the land for public use with South Ayrshire Council and other organisations. Due to technical challenges of the site, highlighted in an independent report, neither of the options were ultimately feasible.
Professor Wayne Powell, Principal and Chief Executive of SRUC, said: “SRUC is committed to supporting our partners in the Ayrshire area and we are currently developing our full plans for our South and West Faculty. A priority will be supporting our learning and research in Ayrshire, alongside our new campus at Barony as well as the continued presence of our SAC Consulting offices in Ayrshire.
“We listened to local stakeholders who wanted us to explore community transfer or options for social housing and other uses. Unfortunately, the technical challenges of the site meant that is was not suitable but it was important that we took the time to look at these options.
“The reasons behind our decision to sell Auchincruive have not changed since 2017. The site costs SRUC around £685,000 a year to maintain and, due to challenges around the site, it would require a significant investment to bring it up to modern standards. As a result, it is clear that the status quo of this site is not financially feasible for SRUC and its maintenance is stifling fresh investment in teaching and research in the South and West of Scotland.
“We have taken expert legal advice on the terms of the bequest from the Hannah Family and all assets from the sale will be reinvested in educational activities in the South and West of Scotland. This proposal is therefore entirely in accordance with the historic origins of the original bequest of the estate from the Hannah family in the 1920s.”
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