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Dean Castle Parks for People Project, Kilmarnock

Wylie Shanks Architects were appointed by East Ayrshire Council to develop proposals for the extension and refurbishment of the Visitor Centre and Rural Life Centre, as well as extensive external works, including two new bridges, river stabilisation works, a new play park, the formation of a new pond and restoration of the Edwardian Landscaping in order to support an application to Heritage Lottery for funding under the Parks for People scheme.


The application was successful and WSA were subsequently appointed to develop the proposals and to administer the site works.  The Parks for People project included, as well as the external landscaping elements described above, complete remodelling and extension to the 1990’s Visitor Centre, opening up the main frontage to create a more welcoming appearance, and creating a residential centre to the rear.  The existing outdoor centre – now known as the Rural Life Centre - was also remodelled and extended to create an Interpretation Centre, Rangers’ Offices, and three lettable workshops.  Sustainable technologies such as rainwater harvesting and PV panels were integrated as part of the interpretation element.

Visitor Centre

Main visitor centre


Spiral stair within cafe

Play Area

External play area at rural life building

Pond Area

Pond area

Russian Stove

Russian stove within rural life building

Interpretation Space

Interpretation space in rural life building

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