West Kilbride plans to create a new wedding venue in Ayrshire

AMBITIOUS plans have been tabled to turn part of West Kilbride into a luxury wedding venue and micro-brewery.

Blackshaw Farm, to the west of the village, operated as a tourist attraction for decades and welcomed around 40,000 visitors each year until it closed in 2000.

The land housed a quad center for a short time before the buildings were used for storage and the farm began to deteriorate.

The site was purchased in early 2021 by Carol and Craig Tarft, who moved into the farm with their one-year-old daughter Eve.

Carol hails from North Lanarkshire and holds a qualification in wine making and serving, while Craig hails from a small village near Cambridge and judges beer competitions across the UK.

The couple aim to recreate the site’s glory days by turning it into one of Ayrshire’s most popular wedding venues.

It currently has a large farmhouse, a large open barn, several smaller barns and ample parking.

The farm will be maintained and inhabited by the family, with rooms occasionally rented out on a self-service basis.

Two of the barns will be used for wedding ceremonies and receptions, with space for 100 seated guests and a maximum evening capacity of 180.

A licensed ‘horseshoe bar’ will provide a focal point for the venue and a large window behind the ceremony space will provide views across the Ayrshire countryside towards Arran.

Plans also include an outdoor seating area for guests to use during entertaining, which will include a large fire pit.

The applicant proposes to hold ceremonies throughout the year, with a maximum of two weddings per week.

Other outbuildings will be converted into laundry rooms, a catering kitchen and additional reception space, one of which will be transformed into a microbrewery.

The microbrewery is proposed to supply the room with beer, as well as a limited number of sales to local pubs.

The pair hope to create their own Blackshaw Farmhouse Ale, which will be available on tap, on tap and in bottles.

Full application details can be found on the North Ayrshire Council planning portal.

About Octavia A. Dorr

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