The development of the Barony Centre has continued to gain momentum since the announcement of  Big Lottery Funding of £881,184 in October 2009.  In November the WK Initiative was awarded £431,926 by The Town Centre Regeneration Fund, which included £296,290 towards the design and construction costs of Barony Centre and over £103,000 to replace the WK Initiative Village Hall heating system. This was closely followed by an award of £119,117 from Ayrshire LEADER towards the Barony build and employment costs. This is a  significant fundraising achievement by our  Craft Development Manager since North Ayrshire Council approved a Landfill Communities Fund award of £25,000 in July 2009.

The Barony Project Team rounded off the year’s activities by selecting the Lead Consultant who will be responsible for completing Angus Kerr, Athe detailed design and project managing the construction phase of the Barony Centre. A short list of six extremely strong candidates was interviewed mid-December and WKCIL is delighted to have secured the services of Kevin Cooper, Director of the Glasgow office of Archial Architects, and his talented and experienced team.

Barony Project Team Leader Angus Kerr, local resident and recently retired Director of BDP, one of this country’s highly respected architectural practices, said “Kevin is a Director in the Glasgow Office of one of the largest group of Architects in the UK. He has specialised for many years in the design of Community projects - in particular Education buildings - which have won several awards. This year his Office was recognised by winning the Scottish 'Oscar' for Architecture, the RIAS Andrew Doolan Award - worth £25,000. Kevin lives with his wife Cathy in West Kilbride in a house that they jointly designed and which won a coveted Saltire Society Award...will his next Award be for the completed Barony Project - we confidently expect so!”

Kevin and his colleagues have already begun work on the detailed design scheme, with refinements to the plans already creating a buzz of excitement within the Barony Project Team. Kevin’s enthusiasm for the project and commitment to the village is clear in his reaction to the practice’s selection, “Archial Architects are delighted to be involved in this interesting and innovative project. We are confident that the project will become a real catalyst for the further development of West Kilbride as an innovative centre for craft in Scotland. We are enjoying working with a creative and inspiring project team, and we sincerely hope that our developing design will reflect this creative collaboration in a genuinely exciting and stimulating project, ultimately resulting in a revitalised building that is of great benefit to the entire community”