Girvan Alliance for Action

The South Ayrshire town of Girvan (population: 6k) joined the SURF Alliance for Action programme in May 2023, when Zanne Domoney-Lyttle was appointed as SURF’s Local Facilitator.

Since taking up the role, Zanne has provided practical support towards the development of multiple local projects that align with community demands to improve the town and the lives of local residents.

A selection of the local project activity that SURF supports follow. These are just some of the initiatives that Zanne is working with in her first year in post (last updated: June 2024).

Get in touch with Zanne at Find out more about the Alliance for Action progamme here.

Project Support Examples

The Bandstand Project – A key initiative is supporting Adventure Centre for Education in their bid to buy the historic Girvan Bandstand from South Ayrshire Council. This has involved meeting regularly with Council officers, developing a funding strategy for the phased refurbishment of the building, submitting funding applications for the development phase to get quantity survey and costings reports, condition surveys, conservation reports and design plans, and creating a communications strategy for Adventure Centre for Education to keep the community well informed.

A successful Architectural Heritage Fund grant application has led to planning for renovation, and the asset transfer process is close to finalisation. The project will continue to be a central priority for SURF it as it has enormous potential to transform the area physically and socially. It aligns strongly with community demands to improve tourism, the town centre economy, and connectivity between the town and its waterfront.

Girvan Academy Auditorium Project – This project involved working with South Ayrshire Council, Girvan Academy Parents-Teacher Council, local elected members, and community groups to help raise funds towards refurbishing the auditorium in the school. The plan is to open the space as a community theatre outwith school hours to provide a space for performance in Girvan. SURF is sourcing funding towards specific elements of the proposed refurbishment, collecting evidence of need and community support, and exploring a schedule of events over the next 12-18 months which could make use of the newly refurbished auditorium.

Biosphere Bikes – SURF sourced funding through the Smarter Choices Smarter Places fund to employ a project officer for 12 months to support the continued development and progress of Biosphere Bikes as they seek to expand. The local social enterprise is scaling up, promoting active travel and outdoor tourism, and purchasiing a vacant building to create a skills training workshop.

AYE Girvan – Accessibility Yields Empowerment (AYE) Girvan is an ambitious new charity which seeks to provide several family-oriented services to the community of Girvan, including a Hygiene Bank and Food Provision, wraparound childcare, children’s rights workshops, a charity/thrift shop, and community workshop space. SURF has been providing advice and guidance on governance models, funding strategies and other areas as required.

William Grant Foundation – managing and distributing £7.5k of community grants provided by the Foundation to SURF’s Alliance for Action programme to seed fund emerging community led activity, particularly those which provide new social and economic opportunities for young people, which is a strong and recurring theme in community consultations in Girvan.

Community Rail Partnership – SURF has attended workshops and meetings with the Community Rail Partnership and is supporting Girvan Youth Trust, who have expressed an interest in taking over the old tea/coffee kiosk in the train station and running it as a social enterprise.

Boost/Girvan Town Team – SURF has facilitated a partnership between Girvan Town Team and Boost. Boost are a collective of individuals who come together to enjoy walks, exercise, cooking classes and more. They are not constituted. By aligning them with Girvan Town Team, they now have access to funding and help to fulfil one of the community’s main priorities around improving health & wellbeing.

Community Growing Project – SURF has met with representatives from the land and asset team in the NHS to discuss the future of the derelict and overgrown site of the old doctor’s surgery on Henrietta St. SURF submitted a proposal to the NHS team that the land be returned to the community and turned into a community growing space.

Supporting Girvan’s Story – this ongoing project led by South Ayrshire Council is supported by SURF in several ways, including connecting the project leader to various community groups and stakeholders to support the project, supporting the project board and meeting with the project leader on a regular basis to assist with practical developments and help write funding applications for training opportunities.

Tourist Information Point and an Ailsa Craig Centre – Supporting development plans in collaboration with community led tourism body Go Girvan;

Business Association – creating an Association in partnership with Girvan Town Team, to bring together community groups and small businesses in an informal forum;

Glendoune Community Association – SURF is assisting with funding applications and development of projects with advice and practical tips on development and delivery.

Town House Arts Centre – SURF is working with local individuals to commission a feasibility study on the potential use of the Town House as a community arts venue.