As part of its strategy for sustaining the A Frame site, the Barony A Frame Trust is embarking on what it hopes will be a two phase programme of development works on land adjacent to the A Frame.
Over the last two years the Trust has carried out consultation exercises and a feasibility study to find out what local people wanted to see at the site. The resounding response was that they wanted to see outdoor activities and improved access to the surrounding countryside.
On that basis the Trust put together a long-term plan to provide a footpath link to the existing footpath network, additional interpretation materials, a cycle track and a group of volunteer guides.
‘Funders were approached for both phases of the works,’ says Barney Menzies, Chair of the Trust. ‘We were successful in securing all of the funding for stage one of the project and have secured some of the funds for stage two. We’re still waiting for a decision from one funder about stage two of the project.’
The first phase of the project, funded by the Minerals Trust and Ayrshire LEADER is already underway. This includes the footpath connection and interpretation materials onsite plus the training of a group of volunteers.
The second phase involves the construction of a cycle track and additional footpaths around the site plus training for more volunteers. ‘Because the second stage of works is larger and more extensive we’ve had to approach a number of funders for financial support. If we are successful in our applications work will go ahead immediately after the first stage is complete,’ adds Barney. ‘We anticipate this being around the end of March.’
The primary aim of the project is to increase use of the site and ensure the future of the A Frame. In addition the Trust wants to provide opportunities for the local community to engage with visitors as volunteers and pass on their knowledge of the area. Volunteers will be trained in a range of skills which may lead to long term employment.