MAUCHLINE residents were left devastated to see their games hall shut up for the very last time.

The iconic community hub closed its doors to make way for housing for the elderly this week, leaving some locals gutted over the loss.

One of those being Commonwealth Games medalist Adam Hall whose successful career in badminton was sparked in Mauchline Games Hall as a boy.

He’s now worried the controversial plans to knock down the hall will leave young kids missing out and is disappointed that the centre couldn’t be saved.

Adam said: “The council have been threatening to close it every year for the past five or six years but now it needs a lot of work done they went through with it.

“The bathrooms and halls and corridors all need work, it wasn’t making a lot of money so they are knocking it down to make way for housing which will make money and they don’t need to shell money out on to fix.

“It’s a real disappointment that the council didn’t have faith to fix it up and that no one could find the money or time to treat it how it deserved.

“I grew up playing in there it got me into badminton which I do full time now, I’ve even been to the Commonwealth Games.

“It really started my career off so it has a lot of sentimental value to me, I wouldn’t be where I am without it.

“It holds a special place in my heart so seeing it go was a really sad moment.

“I wouldn’t have the life I now have without going there since I was four years old.

“It’s let me travel the world, I’ve won lots of titles, I’ve been to the Commonwealth Games all because that club.”

It comes as a 14-unit development will replace the centre in a bid to home elderly residents.

The Mauchline housing development has been informed through collaborative working with the Health and Social Care Partnership and forms part of the ambitious East Ayrshire Strategic Housing Investment Plan 2018 –23 that allows for the development of 888 affordable homes to be delivered across East Ayrshire by the Council and its Registered Social Landlord partners.

In response to an enquiry from the Cumnock Chronicle, Dot Grieve, Service Manager, East Ayrshire Vibrant Communities said :"The historic town of Mauchline is set to benefit from a multimillion-pound housing development will be built on the site of the former Mauchline Games Hall.

"This development will ensure that older and vulnerable people can remain in the heart of the community within a safe and supported environment.

"East Ayrshire Leisure and Vibrant Communities carried out extensive consultations with the small and dwindling number of games hall users and have been working closely with them to secure alternative arrangements for local clubs. This includes the Badminton Club having the opportunity to access Mauchline Primary School on a Tuesday and Saturday to continue to support the development of badminton in the local community. The senior group has already moved to premises in Catrine and are happy with that move. This support was welcomed by the club.

"East Ayrshire Leisure and Vibrant Communities are committed to working with the local community and Mauchline Community Action Group to support any plans for the development of community led leisure projects, including a development at Beechgrove Park and activities within Centre Stane."