Ayr Rugby Club unveil big plans for £3 million legacy windfall

The McDonald Legacy has been set up to help the club redevelop Millbrae and purchase nearby Dam Park from South Ayrshire Council

Ayr's ambitious plans for a redevelopment of Millbrae and purchase of a second venue have been given the green light by club members.. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Ayr's ambitious plans for a redevelopment of Millbrae and purchase of a second venue have been given the green light by club members.. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

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.

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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.


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About Matt Vallance 30 Articles
Matt is a former member of Cumnock Rugby Club's 'Mean Machine' - motto: "Well, we won the fight". He has written about some 60 sports in a long career, mainly spent freelancing for, amongst others: The Herald, The Scotsman, The Sunday Times, Scotland on Sunday, the late-lamented Sunday Standard and just about every national paper. He survived a spell at the Paisley Daily Express, covering St Mirren and the Paisley Pirates every week. He now writes a lot of sporting obituaries, since he saw many of his subjects play. Opinionated, passionate and, as one Bill McMurtire once said: "The only Cumnock member (other than Mark Bennett) who can be let out without an escort". In his 70th year, Matt, known to many as: 'Snuff', still has a few noses to get up. Unfulfilled ambition - to live long enough to see Scotland beat the All Blacks.

7 Comments

  1. Great to hear, good news, and well done to all at Ayr RFC.
    AS always, I look forward to visiting Millbrae seeing the new development, and to the continued success of rugby in Ayr.

    • been a well run club for a long time and deserve a windfall. Top marks to the McDonald family as well, a great way to have a legacy for Barry.

  2. At last, an opportunity for me to give praise on the rugby front! EXCELLENT NEWS!
    I have always been of the opinion that there are members of clubs out there with the knowledge and expertise to drive the game forward. Well done to all involved in the development of this project. Unfortunately, it took the death of a former player to bring the plan forward. My condolences to the MacDonald family!
    I’m sure Barry will be following the progress of the project from afar with a proud smile on his face.

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