A CAMPAIGNER has welcomed the news that the Baird Institute will be open late for the Cumnock Christmas Festival.

East Ayrshire Leisure confirmed the Baird would be open until 7pm on St Andrew’s Day (Friday, November 30) to allow festival goers to visit and explore the exhibitions.

Michael McPake has been campaigning to get the Baird open for longer so that more people can visit when it is convenient for them.

Currently the Baird is only open on Fridays and Saturdays from 10am to 4pm and Thursdays from 12.30pm to 4.40pm and 5pm to 8pm.

Michael has welcomed the news as a step in the right direction. He told the Chronicle: “I’ve been trying to get it open more and I’m delighted. This is great news. I was told I was banging my head against a wall with the council and Mr Geary from East Ayrshire Leisure has told me: ‘We aren’t the council, we are a charitable trust.’

“Mr Geary didn’t know that I was the one responsible for the garden and I think I’ve made a new friend.

“You’d think I’d won the pools, I’m so happy. Councillor McMahon has been really helpful and I’m thankful to the paper for supporting me.”

A spokesperson for East Ayrshire Leisure said: “For the Cumnock Christmas Festival, the Baird Institute will be open until 7pm.”