CHORD - Town Centre Regeneration Projects

Project updates - all projects  Programme information

Argyll and Bute Council has agreed to an ambitious and forward-looking programme to assist regeneration and economic development in five of it’s waterfront towns - Campbeltown, Helensburgh, Oban, Rothesay and Dunoon. In November 2008, the Council unanimously agreed to allocate more than £30 million to the programme, since named ‘CHORD’.

The multi-million pound initiative will see major improvements to the town centres and waterfronts of all five towns.

Campbeltown (£6.5 million)

The re-development of the existing facilities
The regeneration of the Kinloch Road area
Improvements to the town’s heritage and conservation sites through the Campbeltown Town Centre Regeneration Project

Helensburgh (£6.66 million)

Developing a more sustainable traffic management system in the town centre and redeveloping the West Bay Esplanade between Colquhoun Square and William Street

Oban (£6.9 million)

Improve traffic flow within the town centre, reconfigure Oban Bay/Harbour to better meet the needs of users, refresh the Oban Action Plan and develop the transport interchange

Rothesay (£2.4 million)

Renovate and improve Rothesay Pavilion
Deliver a THI for the Rothesay Town Centre Conservation area

Dunoon (£8.3 million)

Redevelop and create a vibrant and attractive waterfront

Chord Programme Manager - Helen Ford
Phone - 01436 658 839
Email -

Project updates

Title Update
Rothesay THI update November 2013

Migration exhibition

Third annual Maintenance Week Event held

National Maintenance Week is an annual event taking place in November each year which aims to promote the importance and benefits of regularly checking and carrying out maintenance to your property.

A short film, entitled, ‘A Bird’s Eye View of Rothesay’ was screened throughout the afternoon of Saturday 23rd November which demonstrated some of the problems commonly experienced with Rothesay’s Victorian buildings. The film can be viewed at:

The footage provides an accurate picture of the condition of the town centre buildings and describes how common problems can be resolved and even avoided in the first place. The film screenings were accompanied with the offer of expert advice from Annie Flint, tenement specialist, and John Gilbert, conservation accredited architect, on appropriate tenement maintenance.

Migration Exhibition installation at Rothesay Library

Andy Campbell of Dress for the Weather, a Glasgow-based architecture practice, created an exhibition to showcase the effects of inward migration on Rothesay’s town centre. The exhibition was launched with a guided tour of Rothesay’s most prominent buildings including Duncan’s Halls, Rothesay Castle and Bute Fabrics.

Architectural workshopAndy also facilitated an architectural workshop with art students from Rothesay Academy at the Castle. A measured survey of the building gave students skills in sketching, working and drawing in scale and recording their built environment.

Primary children from two schools participated in mapping exercises to better understand the buildings and spaces that help make up their town centre.

Dunoon Waterfront update November 2013

Queens Hall

On 12th November 2013 the Dunoon CHORD Board approved the updated stage C designs presented by the Parsons Brinkerhoff Design team which includes award winning firm Malcolm Fraser Architects. These designs incorporate all of the requirements of the project brief and will provide a modern performance and events space as well as private function facilities. The designs also include areas allocated for: library and learning; Visit Scotland public reception area and shop; Skills Development Scotland facilities; Children’s soft play area and a café.

The design team are now progressing the detailed design aspects in preparation for a public information event in early 2014, in advance of submitting the necessary applications for planning consent and other warrants.

An early image of the stage C design can be seen below. The external material finishes and colours have yet to be agreed and as such the exterior may not be white as shown in this conceptual image.

Queens Hall design image


Applications have been made to two funding authorities for support to redevelop new uses for the pier buildings and undertake enhancement works to the pier structure. Responses from these funders is expected in early 2014.

Design development of improvements and refurbishment of te buildings and pier continues.

Public Realm

Designs are being progressed for improvements to the public areas in the area of the Pier and Queens hall. Detailed consultation with the statutory authorities is on-going and proposals will be available for public display in early 2014.

Helensburgh CHORD Latest newsletter and update

MacLay's Civil Engineering who are the Contractors for the Helensburgh CHORD Project have issued their most recent newsletter to keep you up to date with all the latest developments in the project. This newsletter will be issued to all local residents and retailers and you can also read it here on the website. You can also read the November project summary report.

Read the November newsletter

Read the November summary report