The Bandstand Project

In Spring 2023, ACE formally bid to buy Girvan’s iconic and historic Bandstand (located in Stair Park, Girvan) from South Ayrshire Council for the community. As we go through the process of getting the keys and starting our ambitious renovation plans, we’ll be posting updates here and on our Facebook page. Make sure to follow us to keep up to date with the project!

History of the Bandstand

The bandstand was built in 1907 after Stair Park was gifted to the community by the Bargany Estate in 1875. It is a single storey building built of brick, concrete, wood, tile and original ironwork, with a footprint roughly 67 sq metre. Originally built as a tea kiosk, it was used to provide refreshments to locals and hundreds of tourists who visited Girvan. It also played host to seaside entertainers including Pierrot Troupes and musicians. In the 1960s when seaside entertainment waned, the building was used by various community groups including a meeting place for elderly people. It became vacant and fell into disrepair in the 1990s and has sadly lain empty since. In recent years, part of the floor has collapsed, and the building has been victim to instances of antisocial behaviour including graffiti and arson. It is currently fenced off.

Our Plans

ACE has ambitious and achievable plans to fully refurbish the building into an indoor/outdoor cafe with flexible seating and facilities for walkers and adventurers. As well as a cafe, we want the building to be used as an events space and small venue – it could even be used as a pop-up venue for independent makers and creators in the local area! We want it to be a cultural space which champions local produce and offers quality refreshments in a unique and historic setting and most importantly, benefits the community as widely as possible.

The plan is to restore as much of the building as possible, retaining as many features as possible. We know the building is in a very poor state at the moment, but we are confident we can return it to its former glory! As well as speaking to its legacy the building will be modernised and upgraded to ensure it lasts for another 100 years in good condition.

Our plan very much speaks to the original use of the building as a tea kiosk but with an updated and contemporary approach which we hope will appeal to our community as well visitors using the nearby beach and promenade. There are no plans to extend the building or change its shape in a significant way.

Where we are

As of April 2024, both South Ayrshire Council’s Cabinet and the County Sheriff have approved our bid to buy the building. We are now going through legal processes before final approval is given.

We are in the process of the development stage, commissioning and collecting surveys and reports about the condition of the building, and applying for planning permissions, funding and other project related needs.

We have received concept plans from Graven and shared these widely with the community.


In February 2024, we were awarded funding from Architectural Heritage Fund to undertake community consultation activities, and to develop a robust business strategy to the project.

We were also successful in bids to Community Wealth Building (SAC) and have several other bids submitted or in process.

Feedback from the community

The bandstand is an iconic building in Girvan that is much loved by the community who are incredibly supportive of trying to bring it back into use. It has been identified as a priority project in the Charette report (2012), Thriving Places Plan (2021) and Create Streets consultation (2022). ACE responded to the community’s desire for the building to be saved and renovated by successfully bidding for the bandstand this spring from South Ayrshire Council to bring it back into community use. This has been widely welcomed by the community, with over 200 positive responses to the local authority community consultation document submitted in November 2023

We recently held a community consultation event in April 2024, and received overwhelmingly positive feedback about the project. Future consultation events have been planned and are as follows:

June 1st, 2024
August 10th, 2024
December 1st, 2024


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