Karate Kids Officially Open New Saltcoats Training Station

Last updated: Monday, 25 October 2021

A £525,000 conversion to transform an underused space at Saltcoats station into a state-of-the-art, fully accessible ‘training station’ for the local community is being officially opened at 2pm today (Monday, 25 October).

Transport Minister, Graeme Dey MSP, will perform the ribbon cutting ceremony.

The project was delivered by a partnership led by the Shibumi Karate club from Saltcoats, and some of their ‘karate kids’ will be demonstrating their best moves, to get the official launch going with a bang.

The refurbishment was completed thanks to a series of community grants.

The project received:

  • £150,000 from the Scottish Government’s Regional Capital Grant Fund (RCGF).
  • £156,715 from the Railway Heritage Trust.
  • £83,300 funding from ScotRail’s Station Community Regeneration Funding (SCRF).
  • £76,000 from Sport Scotland.
  • £50,000 from North Ayrshire Council’s Community Investment Fund.
  • £10,000 from Shibumi Karate Club.

Construction of the large multi-functional space included new toilets and a changing room, Wi-Fi network, and a multimedia screen and projector for training, local meetings and presentations.

James Ledgerwood, ScotRail Head of Economic & Community Development, said:

“We are delighted that this previously underused space at Saltcoats station is now providing the local community with a great place to hold a wide variety of group activities and leisure pursuits.

“The people of Saltcoats and the Three Towns now have a state-of-the-art facility right on their doorstep and it will be a great asset for many years to come.

“This project is part of ScotRail’s commitment to strengthening links with the communities we serve and we look forward to welcoming all of the different groups who will be able to use the training centre.”

North Ayrshire Council Leader Joe Cullinane, said:

“We have been delighted to support this project to bring an important local building back into use and provide a fantastic facility for the local community.

“The work which has been carried out by Shibumi Karate Club to transform the building is amazing – this is exactly the type of community-led project we are proud to support through our Community Investment Fund.”

Andy Savage, Executive Director of the Railway Heritage Trust, said:

“The Railway Heritage Trust has given many grants to restore historic station buildings in Scotland, and Saltcoats has been one of the most satisfying.

“We had helped fund the restoration of the exterior of the building in the 1980s but were very aware of all the empty unused space inside it.

“We were really impressed when John Deans told us of his vision for the Karate Club, and how that will help the young people in Saltcoats and around.

“We are pleased to have helped not only to deliver that vision but also to restore the under-used space in the building.

“Our grant has been well used and we are delighted with the outcome.”