Inclusive Growth

Time: 12:30 - 13:30

Date: Day 2


Schools as Community Hubs

Speaker: Dr Julia Atkin

Education led mixed-use regeneration in a historic setting

Speakers: Lindsey Mitchell & Donalds Gillies

The vision of Henry Morris in breaking down barriers between school and neighbourhood for all-round community benefit is finding fresh expression in schemes like Ayr Grammar Primary School.

In 2017 Ayr Academy vacated its listed building in Fort Street to take up residence at the Craigie Campus. The secondary school had outgrown its previous location and left an opportunity for redevelopment of the historic sandstone building, sitting on the banks of the River Ayr in centre of town.

The historically rich site which has been the site of a school for over 400 years is immediately adjacent to the Cromwellian Citadel of 1650, and contains within the site itself, the original moat/wall of the citadel.

Rather than let this fine building languish or redevelop the site for residential or commercial use, South Ayrshire Council seized a fantastic opportunity to create a new community focused development that allowed them to preserve the original use of education on the site and expand the offer to the wider community.

This sustainable approach to regeneration allowed a number of council departments to work together to provide a multi-generational offer. Recognising the synergies between the component parts allowed the council to pool resources and provide an enhanced offer to the school community, the residents of Ayr and the region beyond.

Working together with BDP and the rest of the Design Team, South Ayrshire Council were able to challenge the notion of what a ‘school’ should be. The education led mixed use development exploits the educational outreach aspects of the Ayrshire Archive service and Adult learning opportunities of its community facilities. The scheme’s potential goes beyond the provision of school space, as it promises to improve street connections and – through its architecture and its activities –engage citizens with their heritage.

The new home of Ayr Grammar primary school will accommodate a primary school, a local town archive, a community arts centre and a registry office.



  • Allen AnnAnn Allen Chief Executive Officer, CICES & Chair - Architecture & Design Scotland

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