AYR RUGBY CLUB has received a £3 million boost, and unveiled ambitious plans for the future. The key to these plans is The McDonald Legacy, set up in memory of the late Barry MacDonald, a former Ayr first team player, who died suddenly, aged 54, in December, 2020.
Barry’s father Alan is head of Dawn Construction, the long-time Ayr sponsors, and he has set up the legacy for the club, through which the intention is:
- To purchase land from South Ayrshire Council and the National Trust for Scotland to allow a new access road to Millbrae.
- To purchase Dam Park Stadium from South Ayrshire Council, to provide an all-weather pitch and create a youth academy.
- To re-develop Millbrae to create a facility to meet the club’s sporting and community ambitions for the next generation.
- To create a commercial team within the charitable company to deliver funds to support the club’s sporting and community goals.
The upgrade to Millbrae, in addition to providing the new clubhouse, will see a new stand built, new floodlights, a new state-of-the-art synthetic pitch and a bigger car park.
To enable the changes, the members agreed, at a Special General Meeting, to create and transfer the club’s existing assets into a new limited company called Ayr Rugby Football Club Ltd, which will be registered as a charity.
“The main purpose is to modernise the legal structure of the club in a tax-efficient way; and to facilitate the development of the existing facilities at Millbrae,” said Ayr RFC President Stewart Kerr.
Kerr was quick to stress, this is only the beginning, a lot of work has still to be done. However, it is hoped, that the missives can be concluded by March, 2022. This would lead to a 12-month planning process and a 12-month building period, meaning the project could be completed by the summer of 2024.
Over 120 members attended the SGM, to hear vice president Brian Williamson outline the details of the MacDonald Legacy and Kerr outline the development plans. The meeting passed the proposals with only one member dissenting.