The Macdonald Legacy


For many years Ayr Rugby Club was fortunate to be sponsored by Dawn Construction, which was owned by local businessman, Alan Macdonald. In 2018, the company was sold, and Alan was looking forward to retirement and spending more time with his family.

Unfortunately, just two years later, Alan’s son died suddenly while returning home from a holiday aged 54. This was a terrible shock to the community, so Alan decided to create a fund to celebrate the life of his only son, Barry Macdonald.

The Macdonald Legacy

Ayr Rugby Club is one of the most successful clubs in Scotland with league-topping teams and a full social and community calendar. The cost of running and maintaining the dated facilities had been a burden for many years. With no way of raising the required funds to both operate and upgrade the facilities, the club invited offers from developers to purchase the lands of Millbrae for housing.

The proposed development would have seen the construction of 48 houses in the heart of Burns Country, and an access road which would have carved the gardens of the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in two.

Not everybody thought this was the best solution, so Brian Williamson started a campaign to save Millbrae for future generations. This attracted the attention of Alan Macdonald who, in January 2021, offered 3 million pounds towards the cost of developing Millbrae for sporting and community purposes. The Macdonald Legacy was born.

Alan and Brian have since worked together to deliver the Macdonald Legacy for the people of Ayr.

The Development

The ambitious development is being delivered in three phases.

Phase 1 (starting March 2024)

Formation of a new access road for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles with new car parking facilities

Phase 2 (starting August 2024)

Multi-sport all-weather pitch, access paths, floodlighting and structural retention

Phase 3 (starting January 2025)

Refurbishment of the clubhouse, changing facilities and spectator stand, extension to include a performance gym, café and studio space.


The Millbrae development is about community and has been made possible by the largesse of the Macdonald family and the assistance and support given by the National Trust for Scotland and South Ayrshire Council. To complete the project a further 1 million pounds are required. If you would like to donate please visit our crowdfunding page or email us.

Thank you for taking an interest in our community project.