EAC prepare to open the Bond
Kilmarnock's Johnnie Walker whisky heritage is the focus of attention during the first week in September as East Ayrshire Council opens its Johnnie Walker Bond - a former whisky warehouse - to the public for the first time as part of Ayrshire "Doors Open Day" being held in conjunction with the Kyle and Carrick Civic Trust.
The Johnnie Walker Bond was a bonded warehouse, home to a range of whisky production related activities. The first part of the building, which was built in a four storey, multi-bayed French Renaissance style was built in 1895, with later extensions added in 1898 and 1907.
It has found a new use thanks to East Ayrshire Council's Town Centre Regeneration plan which has refurbished the bond into a state of the art office, housing around 300 staff from the council's Planning, Social Work and Roads Departments.
Councillor Jim Buchanan, Spokesperson for Delivering Community Regeneration said: "We're delighted to be taking part in Ayrshire Open Doors Day with this building. It is a flagship of our continuing policy of town centre regeneration, bringing 300 people into a bright modern building while retaining its original character and charm.
"For local businesses, the footfall created by our staff is already showing benefits, while for us the improved communications from having everyone working under one roof has improved our efficiency.
"Overall, we're very proud to show off this building, which is unlike any other in Kilmarnock and which has been saved from possible eventual dereliction by our regeneration schemes. It is just one of many buildings in the heart of our historic town centre which we are working to refurbish and conserve in conjunction with Historic Scotland, the Scottish Government and the owners of the buildings themselves. We hope people will come along on the Open Doors Days and see just what can be achieved when we work in partnership to save our ageing properties."
Doors Open Days is Scotland's largest free annual architectural event. It is coordinated nationally by the Scottish Civic Trust, supported by Historic Scotland and is part of European Heritage Days.
Guided tours of the building, the oldest part of which dates from 1895, will run from 10am to 3pm on Saturday, September 1 and Sunday, September 2. Places are limited and must be booked by calling 01563 576790 or emailing BuildingStandards@east-ayrshire.gov.uk before Wednesday, August 29. Please inform the venue of any access requirements at time of booking.
The Burns Monument Centre at Kay Park in Kilmarnock is also taking part in doors open day - while hosting the inaugural Taste Ayrshire Food Festival on Sunday, September 2.
There will a selection of tasty local specialities for guests to sample as well as a number of documents and books on local history and guided tours of the building.
The event at the Burns Monument Centre will be held between 12pm and 4pm.
This article appeared in Cumnock Chronicle 21 Aug 12