Parts of historic hotel to be demolished following devastating blaze

Ayr Station Hotel went up in flames in September 2023, and now work is ongoing to demolish what is left of the site.

Ayr Station Hotel tower and north building to be demolished by mid-June after devastating fire STV News

Works to demolish sections of a former historic hotel in Ayr following a blaze are set to be completed by the summer, council bosses have confirmed.

Thirteen appliances were sent to Ayr Station Hotel after it caught fire on Monday, September 25, 2023.

Three teens were arrested and charged in connection with the incident – the second time the 130-year-old hotel had been set alight that year.

Now, works to demolish sections of the former historic hotel are set to be completed by the summer, local council bosses have said.

South Ayrshire Council confirmed the building’s tower and half of the northern section at the town’s railway station will be taken down as part of safety works being carried out.

They estimate the works will take around nine weeks, with an estimated completion date of June 17.

Damage to the Station Hotel following the blaze on Monday, September 25, 2023. Kai Brown

Councillor Martin Dowey, Leader of South Ayrshire Council, said: “I am pleased we now have a way forward. Given the extent of the damage to the northern section, we need to put public safety first. This means that the tower and half of the northern section of the building needs to come down.

“I know that this has been a frustrating time for rail users and the travelling public, and it’s always been our priority to work with partners, Network Rail and ScotRail, to get the station operational again as soon as possible.

“Removing most of the brickwork means our safety works will be complete and our partners will be able to make progress around the reopening of the railway station.

The decision for the demolition comes following the conclusion of a number of structural inspections on the tower and northern half of the building.

The inspections revealed extensive fire damage to supporting structural elements, which means these parts of the building can’t remain without serious risk to public safety.

Stranraer railway station has been closed since September due to the extent of the fire, and South Ayrshire Council confirmed it was working with ScotRail and other partners to ensure trains can run again “as soon as possible”.

Simon Constable, operations director for Network Rail Scotland, said: “As soon as it is safe to do so, our engineers will inspect our infrastructure for any damage caused by the fire and we will reopen the railway as soon as we can for our customers.”

David Lister, ScotRail safety and sustainability director, said: “ScotRail welcomes the news that we now have a timeframe for South Ayrshire Council completing the work, and it will bring us a step closer to restoring services for customers.

“When the buildings are safe, and Network Rail have inspected the railway lines as safe to operate on, we will be able to start the process of reintroducing our trains on the route.

“Until then, we are doing everything we can to help keep customers moving, which includes providing buses for the Scottish Grand National next weekend.”

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