Karate dojo to be built inside railway station in £500,000 project

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WORK has commenced on a £500,000 project to convert an unused space at Saltcoats railway station into a ‘training station’ for a local karate club.

A series of community grants made the project possible, with an £83,000 in funding from ScotRail’s community regeneration funding, £131,711 from the Railway Heritage Trust, £50,000 from North Ayrshire Council’s community investment fund, and £76,000 from Sport Scotland.

The new Shibumi Karate Club dojo will also act as a fully accessible community space. It will include toilet and changing room facilities, a Wi-Fi network, and multimedia screen and project for training, local meetings and presentations.

John Wilson, ScotRail community liaison executive, said, “It’s great to see that construction has started on site after a lot of hard work from the club and partners over the past 18 months. Once complete, the Shibumi Karate Club will have a fantastic state of the art facility which will be a great asset for the people of Saltcoats and the three towns.”

Andy Savage, executive director of the Railway Heritage Trust, added, “The Railway Heritage Trust gives grants to restore, and find new uses for, space in heritage railway buildings. We are delighted to have awarded the Shibumi Karate Club grants totalling almost £135,000 towards restoring this historic building, and hope that it will help entertain and educate young people in the town.”

Hilary Cameron, head of rail franchise unit at Transport Scotland, said,“The stations community regeneration fund is a prime example of how targeted investment to regenerate empty station buildings can help stimulate economic growth while bringing local benefits.”

ScotRail said work on the project is expected to take around three months to complete.