The WKCIL Directors wish to thank everyone who attended the launch of The Barony Centre on Tuesday 1st of May. Over 100 invited guests joined the Directors, Craft Town Committee members, staff and volunteers in celebrating the opening of both the venue and the Crafts Council touring exhibition ‘Lab Craft: Digital adventures in contemporary craft.
Amongst the guests were Malcolm Roughead OBE, Chief Executive and Director of Marketing Visit Scotland, David Taylor, Portfolio Manager Creative Scotland, Andrew Normansell, Big Lottery Fund Scotland, Kenneth Gibson MSP, NAC Provost Pat McPhee and NAC Councillor Robert Barr. They were joined by representatives from a variety of community and third sector organisations, tourism providers, the business community and invited guests from the local community.
The most important guests on the day were Mrs Jean Palmer and her family. Our special thanks to Jean, who agreed to ‘do the honours’ and perform the cutting of the ribbon, which symbolized the building’s new lease of life as The Barony Centre, Exhibition, Education and Events venue and community hub.
Jean is 84 years young and was married in the Barony Church on the 14th of February, 1951. Successive generations of Jean’s family have been married and christened in the Barony Church. Daughter Anne, 3 granddaughters and 2 great granddaughters Sophie & Lucy represented the family and the community – past, present and future.
Speeches by NAC Provost Pat McPhee and Kenneth Gibson MSP, recognised the work of the Barony Project Team in the success of project and highlighted the mammoth investment of time by the volunteers of the West Kilbride Community Initiative and the local community.
An earlier message received from David Cook, Director (WASPS), the biggest provider of artist and maker studios in Scotland, summed things up neatly,
“I think you and your community colleagues have pulled off a remarkable feat in achieving this… having raised funds and managed building projects like this I think I can say I do appreciate the obstacles you have had to overcome in realising it, which makes it all the more impressive”.
Kay Hall congratulated Maggie Broadley, Craft Town Scotland Director for her dedication and skills whilst Maggie spoke on behalf of the Barony Project Team.
“Everyone involved knows only too well just how huge these obstacles have been, and each and every one of them should be congratulated for what has been achieved in the creation of this amazing building. Hand, mind and eye are all things employed by makers in the creation of their work – but heart is also paramount and this community has displayed heart, passion and tenacity in spades.
The development of the Barony Centre has always been about more than bricks and mortar, buildings are made real by the people who use and love them and everyone involved over the last 4 years has kept that in the forefront of their minds. We have always respected its past function, we will continue to cherish the building as we move forward in making this a facility for the people of West Kilbride, Ayrshire, Scotland – and beyond”.
Thanks to the funders who have supported our vision and rewarded it with the following grants:
GCA Big Lottery Fund Scotland: £1,028,072
Town Centre Regeneration Fund: £296,290
Ayrshire LEADER: £266,634
Third Sector Enterprise Fund: £95,000
The Robertson Trust: £60,000
N A C Landfill Communities Fund: £25,000
Nuclear Decommissioning Authority: £11,000
Emily McGregor of Happyhills Cakes provided a delicious ‘Craft Town Scotland’ hand- decorated cake and the team at The Flower Room, West Kilbride provided designer floral arrangements for the launch.
We are delighted to report that over 600 visitors have come through the doors already in the first 5 days of opening – please come along to the Barony Centre Monday to Saturday 10am till 5pm, Sunday 12noon till 5pm and see the transformation for yourself.
Photos Courtesy of Leo Murray and Sam Hunter