SOCIAL enterprise company National Pride has unveiled proposals to develop an Eco-Therapy Wellness Park at the site of the former Barony colliery near Auchinleck in East Ayrshire.
The organisation, which strives to create ‘ecologically sustainable and ethical developments’, completed the purchase of the 108.8-acre site as The Barony NP (UK) Limited from Hargreaves Land in July 2020.
The Barony Eco-Therapy Wellness Centre will feature active health and mental relaxation facilities with spa, exercise, craft activities and amenities provided, as well as accommodation in lodges and geodesic domes. The project will also aim to act as a destination showcasing healthy dining experiences.
Natural woodland will be re-crafted to enable visitors to develop mental and physical strengths and personal resilience, as well as being a restfulness centre for sufferers of life-changing illnesses and conditions. Education and training opportunities, especially for vulnerable adults, will be a priority.
Today all that remains of the Barony Colliery is a huge pit-heading winding gear frame, the Barony A-Frame, which is testament to the industrial heritage of the site. Barony NP (UK) Limited will support The Barony A-Frame Trust in the rehabilitation of the ‘Memorial Garden’ dedicated to the miners who tragically lost their lives in the coal mine from 1908-1969.
The Barony project also aims to ‘revolutionise’ how renewable energy can be generated, showcasing renewable technologies. It will use modern construction materials, combined with geo-thermal energy from the disused mine for use by the local community, especially the nearby NHS General hospital. A proportion of the profits will be reinvested back into community wellbeing projects and support NHS student training.
A Proposal of Application Notice has been submitted to East Ayrshire Council and a dedicated project website has been set-up at www.baronywellness.com/
A web-based community consultation event will take place on 23rd June 2021 between 2pm and 7pm
If given the green light, construction could start on site in 2022, with completion tipped for the end of 2024.
National Pride also recently purchased the St Ninians and Loch Fitty site in Fife, which aims to deliver a new tourism and leisure destination. The 930-acre site, located near Dunfermline, will be developed to also become an Eco-Therapy Wellness Park.
Irene Bisset, chair of National Pride, said, “We are incredibly excited to be adding the fantastic Barony to our Eco-Therapy and Wellness collection of projects. There is an increasing recognition of the need for places close to nature for mental health and wellbeing, and the impacts of Covid-19 have made us even more aware of the healing power that nature can bring to our lives.
“Guests at The Barony will experience a safe, restful and enlivening environment in which to relax, rejuvenate and be healthy in mind and body, developing their mental and physical strength and personal resilience. Our leisure and tourism destination will also provide significant economic and community benefits to the area and we look forward to engaging with the local community on the scheme as it progresses.”