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£300m plan to redevelop theme park could create hundreds of jobs

A £300 million redevelopment of a former theme park could create hundreds of jobs if it gets the green light.

Plans have been put forward for a golf course, complete with club house and golf academy, to be built on the site of Loudoun Castle theme park in East Ayrshire.

A whisky distillery, new homes and a food and drink centre of excellence would also be constructed on the 600 acre site, near Galston.

In addition, the 19th century Loudoun Castle building could be transformed into a five-star hotel.

Ayrshire-based firm Vicon UK has teamed up with investor FML to put forward the plans for the site of the theme park, which closed at the end of summer 2010.

Vicon UK has now submitted a notice of intention to lodge a detailed planning application for the golf course and academy, along with an in-principle application to develop the land for different uses.

If its proposals are given the go-ahead, the company believes the project will create hundreds of new jobs in the area, with Vicon UK pledging to use local firms wherever possible.

Neil Rattray, chief executive of Vicon UK, said: "We are committed to making this project a success and we will now work with our partners and stakeholders such as East Ayrshire Council to deliver a stunning development which will become a landmark centre of excellence destination in Scotland.

"Since the closure of the theme park, there has been a great deal of interest in the future of the site.

"We have been working tremendously hard over a period of many months to ensure we attracted the right investor and have put together a realistic proposal that will deliver significant economic benefit to East Ayrshire.

"These plans have been created in consultation with the owner of the site, with the interests of Galston at heart, and we are convinced that the people of Ayrshire and beyond will benefit hugely from this new investment in Scotland.

"There has already been significant consultation with the local community and we are confident we have its backing for these plans."

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