The Scottish Centre for Personal Safety operates out of the former Barony St. John’s church buildings in Ardrossan, North Ayrshire.
Barony St. John Centre
Our Barony St. John Centre is our first physical “Centre” for Personal Safety in Scotland which we bought in December 2014.
Built in 1889, the hall building is being utilised as our Centre premises and will ultimately consist of:
- A main Training Hall (our evening timetable can be seen below). Two thirds of this hall is matted and, when not in use by the charity, is rented out for martial arts classes, exercise classes, etc. The remaining third of the hall contains a gym area and is used by our clients and instructors as well as hired out for PT sessions.
- A Training / Meeting Room for the charity to run First Aid, Lone Worker courses etc. in and which can also be hired out for small meetings, training courses and evening classes.
- An Office area where anyone can pop in for a private chat with one of our team, arrange to view the Centre or book one of our rooms.
- A Reception / Kitchen area.
Our future plans for the Barony St. John buildings are phased;
Phase 1 – to repair the hall roof and open the Training Hall, Reception and toilet areas to the public. With the help of funding from Asda Foundation’s 50th Birthday Community Fund and The Big Lottery’s Awards for All, we accomplished this by August 2016.
Phase 2 – is to open the rest of the hall building beginning with the Training / Meeting Room. The estimated cost for the whole of this work is around £30,000 and we are currently looking for funding / sponsorship / grants. If you would like to contribute, please get in touch.
Phase 3 – is to add an upper floor to the Training Hall room allowing residential space for course participants to stay over.
Barony St. John church building
Built in 1844, this magnificent church is attached to the hall building via a corridor. It took only 8 months to build (April – December 1844) and is not only a wonderful iconic building, featuring in almost every photograph of Ardrossan, but it is also a building of great historical interest.
In 1851, under a new law, the church (then known as New Ardrossan Parish Church) became the first in Scotland to become “quoad sacra”, meaning it concentrated on only sacred matters and gave up all local government functions such as providing schooling for the poor, etc.
Phase 4 – cannot take place until a full Options Appraisal / Feasibility Study is completed. Only then will we know what we can realistically use the church building for. Perhaps it will be a Residential Centre providing accommodation for those travelling to the Isle of Arran or perhaps it will become a Maritime Museum highlighting Ardrossan’s once enviable ship building trade or, as we hope, it will become a vast Events Centre suitable for a variety of events including live bands, music festivals, weddings, plays, conferences, art festivals, wedding fayres, pantomimes. etc. etc. etc.
This commercial aspect to our charity will provide much needed secondary income for us to continue and grow and allow us to offer even more free personal safety courses to groups such as Women’s Aid, Victim Support and Rape Crisis Scotland.
Phase 5 – will see the courtyard between our Barony St. John Centre and the church building converted into a glass entrance / cafe area and, to connect with the historical background of Ardrossan and the castle behind our buildings, we hope to name this finished phase of the project, “The William Wallace Community & Event Centre”.