Rothesay Pavilion Project

Rothesay Pavilion

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Latest News - June 2014

The outline design for the redevelopment of Rothesay Pavilion has now been approved - find out more here

Background and what we plan to do:

Rothesay Pavilion is an example of International Style Modernism at its best with little if anything of its period to equal it in Scotland. It was designed by J.A. Carrick in a competition adjudicated by Thomas Tait, who had earlier adjudicated the Bexhill De La Warr Pavilion and was opened in 1938 to serve the visitor economy and local population.

The Pavilion was originally listed in 1988 as a building of historic and architectural importance and in 2005 was re classified as a Category A listed building, recognising it's national importance and affording it the protection it is widely considered to deserve.

It is generally accepted that the condition of the Pavilion has deteriorated considerably over the years due to lack of investment. Many of the interior art deco features have disappeared or have been covered up, and the exterior buff-coloured synthetic stone walls, metal windows and flat roofs and balconies are also in poor condition. Nevertheless, it is remarkably unaltered and is an immediately recognisable structure that stands as a symbol of Rothesay and a source of community pride.

The Pavilion is owned and operated by Argyll and Bute Council, and despite it's run-down condition, still provides a venue for a wide range of local groups, in excess of 40 separate organisations. Due to the difficulties in attracting new and more profitable uses, the Council, as part of CHORD, the multi-million pound town centre regeneration scheme, has now appointed a Project Manager, and a Design Team to develop a new and comprehensive vision for the Pavilion that will see it regenerated for the benefit of the residents of Rothesay, Bute and the wider community.

The construction phase of the project will mean the building will be out of use for approx 18 months; the Council recognises that this will have a significant impact on local groups and the project team will consult and work closely with the local community to minimise the effect.

The project aims to:

  • Restore the external and internal fabric sympathetically to the original post modernist and Art Deco style.
  • Bring about the imaginative regeneration of the Pavilion through a package of new and flexible uses.
  • Upgrade the building to current fire and electrical standards.
  • Provide more usable and variable sized spaces.
  • Bring the former caretakers house back into useable space.
  • Provide a range of community engagement and conservation skills training opportunities.

Project updates

Title Update
Rothesay Pavilion update - June 2014

The Rothesay Pavilion project took a step forward last week as members agreed to the outline design. This indicative design will form the basis of a business plan as well as planning and funding applications.

The next stage involves making an application for planning and listed building consent and  progressing with funding applications to the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund,  trusts and foundations  (by the Rothesay Pavilion Trust), the Coastal Communities Fund, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Historic Scotland.

You can find out more details in our press release from 17th June 2014

Rothesay Pavilion update - May 2012

We are delighted to announce that Historic Scotland have accepted the Council’s initial application for up to £500,000 grant funding for repairs to the Pavilion. Historic Scotland’s support is a vital first step towards the regeneration of this building.  The Pavilion’s restoration will provide an enhanced community facility, attract new visitors to Bute and bolster the local economy.

An application was also submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) under the Heritage Grant funding stream. The heritage, conservation and educational aims of the Pavilion Project fit strongly with HLF objectives. The large number of bids from across the UK meant that the Pavilion’s application was not accepted on this occasion, however, HLF recognised our strong application and has encouraged us to re-apply. Meanwhile, Project Managers The Prince’s Regeneration Trust will be making applications to a number of other funding sources.

Rothesay Pavilion update - March 2012

During the course of 2011, the Rothesay Pavilion Project Team has been hard at work on the project.  A Design and Feasibility Report has been prepared, proposing an exciting upgrade for the building to provide excellent facilities for a 21st century venue. The proposals place an emphasis on repairing the historic fabric of this Category A listed building. Any necessary alterations required to upgrade the facilities and services are sensitively designed to respect and enhance the heritage significance of the Pavilion.  Proposed alterations include:

  • Improvements to performance facilities and meeting spaces;
  • Provision of new educational facilities, including a community education space and new studios/workshops for creative businesses;
  • Creation of a new suite of rental offices for small businesses;
  • Refurbishment of the cafe to provide an attractive seafront bistro;
  • Improvements to access throughout the building and upgrading of services to make the building more efficient and sustainable.

The Business Plan has been developed on the basis of this scheme, outlining how Rothesay Pavilion can be run as a viable independent venue, forming both an efficient and sustainable community facility and an attractive visitor destination. The Business Plan proposes that the Pavilion is run by a charitable Trust.

Capital funding applications have been submitted for the Heritage Lottery Fund Heritage Grants programme and to Historic Scotland for their Building Repair Grant programme. Decisions on both of these applications are expected in March 2012. Should the applications be successful, the Council can move forward with the detailed proposals and additional fundraising. Further community consultation events will be planned at this stage. We would like to hear any comments and thoughts you have about the project – please use this online form to send them to us.