Radical coffee proposal for Kilmarnock Park as 124-year-old building could be brought back to life


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One of the oldest buildings in Kilmarnock could be turned into a cafe.

The Old Man’s abandoned cabin in Howard Park is the subject of ambitious plans to bring this forgotten building to life.

Kilmarnock Railway Station Heritage Trust is keen to appropriate the iconic structure in the heart of the popular park with a cafe, meeting space and yoga sessions on the menu.

Counseling could also take place for people with mental health issues.

Radical plans would see the facade of the 1897 building transformed into a social enterprise cafe in an effort to provide “volunteer / job” opportunities to the community.

The renovation would also include redeveloping the rear of the building to form a meeting space that would be available for small community groups.

A document relating to the plans reads: “The meeting space will also be used as an advisory space.

“The focus will be on building confidence in this building for those who suffer from poor mental health, have had suicidal thoughts or have been affected by someone who has committed suicide or attempted to kill themselves.”



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The Old Man’s Hut sits on the elevated part of the park next to Mews Lane and was originally a meeting place for veterans. Before falling into disrepair, the facility served as changing rooms for football teams when the park still had a large pitch.

The report states that the cabin now requires “a significant investment” to get it back into service.

The garden at the rear of the building could be used for meditation and as a site where “health and wellness activities can take place such as Qi Jong, yoga and mindfulness practices”.



The old man's hut has not been used for many years
The old man’s hut has not been used for many years

Kilmarnock Railway Station Heritage Trust was the charity tasked with regenerating the redundant railway offices at Kilmarnock Station in 2015.

The trust organizes art exhibitions, creative classes, tai chi and yoga classes, among others.

The group is also engaging in more focused work to help people with mental health issues, isolation, loneliness and addiction reconnect with others.

The trust’s request for the transfer of community assets from the Old Man’s Cabin is now under public comment.

The eight-week consultation began earlier this week and is scheduled to end on October 24.

Proposals can be viewed here https://tinyurl.com/KRSHT and representations regarding proposals can be made by email: [email protected] or by mail: CAT, Vibrant Communities, Council Offices, Civic Center South, Kilmarnock, KA1 1HW.

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About Walter Bartholomew

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