South Ayrshire Council's Belleisle Park has received initial support for a £1.5m funding bid from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The figure includes £56,000 development funding which will be used to plan the details of the complete project.
Belleisle Park was originally designed by Dr John Campbell of Wellwood, a local businessman who made his fortune in the coalmining and tobacco trade, and bought the estate in 1775. In later years it came into Council ownership.
Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: "Belleisle Park is a valuable pocket of green space in South Ayrshire and is much-loved by the local community. We are pleased to be giving our initial support for this worth-while redevelopment project and are looking forward to working with the Council on these exciting plans over the coming months."
Councillor Margaret Toner, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure said: "This is terrific news and I know that people across South Ayrshire and beyond will be celebrating the news that we have initial support from a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.
"We have worked closely with the Friends of Belleisle and other interested parties to create a vision that we know we can make a reality, which will see Belleisle Park prosper again.
"The plan is to conserve the park's remaining historic features such as the stable block, walled garden, lodge house and rockeries. The Friends of Belleisle group will also support various volunteer training activities and public events.
"Many people have happy memories of childhood days spent at Belleisle and in turn have taken their children and grandchildren there to enjoy the magnificent outdoor space. Belleisle is a popular tourist destination and this is something that we want to capitalise on, when people play golf we want to encourage them to then enjoy the rest of Belleisle."
Norman McLean, Chair of The Friends of Belleisle said: "We are all celebrating this fantastic news. I am grateful to South Ayrshire Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and everyone else who is working in partnership to breath new life into Belleisle Park. This is the start of a new and exciting journey."