Leisure Opportunities - Plans revealed to turn former Loudoun Castle theme park into eco-friendly, GBP300m golf resort
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Leisure news
19 Feb 2013
Former Loudoun Castle theme park to be redeveloped as golf resort

BY Tom Walker

Plans have been unveiled to turn the former Loudoun Castle theme park site in East Ayrshire, Scotland, into an environmentally-friendly, £300m golf resort.

Project management company Vicon UK has joined forces with investor FML to launch the ambitious masterplan, which proposes a world class championship standard 18-hole golf course, club house and educational golf academy as well as a new whisky distillery, homes, retail and a food and drink 'centre of excellence' for the site.

The 19th-centruy Loudon Castle itself is set to be redeveloped as a luxury hotel.

Kilmarnock-based Thomson Architects have been appointed to create the blueprint for the site.

It is anticipated the development will be powered by clean renewable energy. As part of the planning application, a renewable energy plant is proposed for the site, which will take the form of a district heating system incorporating PV solar systems and, potentially, a biomass plant.

Loudoun Castle theme park, which first opened in 1995, closed its doors at the end of the summer season in 2010 when owner Henk Bembom declared the attraction as "not economically viable".

Neil Rattray, chief executive of Vicon UK said: "Since the closure of the theme park, there has been a great deal of interest in the future of the site.

"We have been working tremendously hard over a period of many months to ensure we attracted the right investor and have put together a realistic proposal that will deliver significant economic benefit to East Ayrshire.

"These plans have been created in consultation with the owner of the site, with the interests of Galston at heart and we are convinced that the people of Ayrshire and beyond will benefit hugely from this new investment in Scotland.

"There has already been significant consultation with the local community and we are confident we have its backing for these plans.

"We have already fully engaged with local elected members and Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley MSP Willie Coffey has welcomed this investment in Ayrshire and has given the overall masterplan his backing.

"We are committed to making this project a success and we will now work with our partners and stakeholders such as East Ayrshire Council to deliver a stunning development which will become a landmark centre of excellence destination in Scotland."


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