Rothesay Pavilion Project


Artists impression - Image courtesy of Elder and Cannon Architects  Artists impression - Image courtesy of Elder and Cannon Architects

(Images courtesy of Elder and Cannon Architects)

Rothesay Pavilion is a Category A listed building in the International Modernist style designed in 1938 by the architect James Andrew Carrick of J & JA Carrick of Ayr. It is one of the finest examples of early 20th century pleasure buildings in the UK and was commissioned following a Scotland wide design competition which attracted 24 entries. It is owned by Argyll and Bute Council. Despite regular maintenance, the condition of the fabric requires major conservation and repair. To address this, the refurbishment project will bring the building back to life and transform it into a hub for cultural and community use through:

  • A year-round programme of changing exhibitions in a purpose designed exhibition area. It is anticipated that the exhibitions will range from international artists to local history
  • A shop selling local products
  • A café/restaurant selling affordable local food and drink
  • The revamped main hall which will accommodate a range of events including music, theatre, dance, sports, weddings and various community uses.
  • A second venue which will be a more intimate space for smaller performances of music and comedy. It will be programmed by and for young people and give them space to socialise, play and rehearse music and generally 'hang out'.
  • A new top floor which will provide a meeting/function room with fantastic views over Rothesay Bay as well as three new offices.
  • A workhub in the former caretaker’s house at the rear of the site which will comprise three independent offices for local businesses along with a shared meeting room and office resources.

In short, the project will provide a new lease of life to the building, facilitating necessary physical repairs whilst at the same time creating real opportunities for regeneration and job creation for local people. On completion of the redevelopment work the building will be leased by the Council to the  Rothesay Pavilion Charity who will take over the running of the building.

The new facility will employ in excess of 30 staff including a Director and a Heritage Engagement Officer who will work with schools, the local community and volunteers. A detailed business plan has been approved which forms the basis upon which the Pavilion will achieve a sustainable future. Overall, the business plan forecasts that the new Pavilion will attract over 70,000 visits per annum to the various activities that will be on offer. The project has received full planning and listed building consent.


Our work is on-going to turn the Rothesay Pavilion into a fantastic venue that supports community life and the local economy of Bute.

Since the original contractor went into Administration, we’ve been doing a lot of work to keep the building secure and protected from the elements, so that it is in the best possible condition for regeneration work to get going again. This has included for example securing a grant of £63,000  from Historic Environment Scotland to help with security, wind and watertight works.

We have also worked with the providers of two national construction frameworks (specialist construction contractors) to source a new contractor. We are assessing results from this exercise with our funding partners. This is a complex project, but current estimates at this stage show that work could potentially be completed by Summer 2022


Rothesay Pavilion Charity

The Charity was established as a Scottish Incorporated Charitable Organisation (SCIO) in June 2014 and is registered with OSCR (SC044932). Its main charitable objects are to advance citizenship & community development, arts, culture and heritage and to provide recreational facilities for local citizens. The charity was set up in order to take over the active programming, management and operations of Rothesay Pavilion following its redevelopment through a major capital programme initiated by Argyll and Bute Council.

For more information on the charity please visit their website

Our Funders

The Council has received funding from our following funding partners;

Historic Environment Scotland  HIE  HLF  Coastal Communities Fund Scottish Government


ERDFThe £1,055,602 grant from Europe will enable us to develop affordable, well-equipped, accessible work spaces in Rothesay, as currently there are few opportunities on the island for for SMEs to grow their business. This grant will provide three independent work spaces which will have access to a shared meeting room and office resources