The new owners of the Barony pit site in Auchinleck, which will be developed to a create a £50million Eco-Therapy Wellness Centre, have now funded a number of places for school children in the area to complete their own Barony-inspired Half Marathon.

Earlier this year, 100 acres of currently disused land at the site of the former Barony coal mine was sold to a firm of property and regeneration specialists who have paved the way for the development of the Eco-therapy Wellness Park.

Plans include working with the Barony ‘A’ Frame Trust to enhance the permanent memorial and surrounding area as a place of contemplation and in memory of the miners lost during the life of the colliery.

Cumnock Chronicle: The proposed layout of the Wellness Centre.The proposed layout of the Wellness Centre.

But now, spearheaded by One Running Movement (ORM) and supported by Active Schools, National Pride UK, the new owners of the Barony site, have funded a number of places for local kids to complete their own virtual Half Marathon to highlight the importance of movement to physical and mental health during the pandemic.

The 2020 Schools Half Marathon, The Barony, will take place virtually, with the children completing their own cumulative 13.1 miles at school or at home before the end of the year.

Irene Bisset, Chair at National Pride, said: “The Barony is an exciting new project for National Pride and we are delighted to support local ORM activities. These fit perfectly with our belief in the role of the natural environment in wellness, physical and mental health.

“We are very proud to fund free places for primary school aged children in East Ayrshire, working with One Running Movement and Active Schools to encourage the future generation to be active. Being outside and experiencing nature has never been more important.”

All young runners will receive a Schools Half Marathon Colour My Miles Tracker, a wall tracker, a six star wristband awarded on completion of six miles, a One Running Movement technical t-shirt and a special edition finisher’s medal.

Cumnock Chronicle: The Barony A Frame medal.The Barony A Frame medal.

The special edition “The Barony A-Frame“ medal is based on the huge pit-head winding gear frame which is all that remains of the colliery, reflecting the area’s history and heritage.

Joe Williams and Rebecca Richardson, Founders of One Running Movement, said: “The Barony A-Frame is a symbol of local pride and hope.

“We are sure that the special edition medals earned by the young movers will find a proud place in their homes.”