Rothesay Pavilion update January 2011

Update date: 


The Design Team, along with the Princes Regeneration Trust have completed an options appraisal for the Pavilion.  The options appraisal is part of the process of preparing a full business case, and in order to maintain and enhance the Pavilion’s cultural and architectural significance, it was guided by the Conservation Plan.

As the options appraisal was prepared, a broad range of options for re-use was considered.

The main focus was to ensure that the Pavilion remains as a public building – available for community use, and complemented by a range of income generating uses, as it must be sustainable in the long term.

An exciting package of potential new uses was identified – see the options below for more details. The options will respect and enhance the building’s architectural and cultural significance, and return a much improved asset to the community.  The Pavilion will also become an economic driver for the regeneration of Rothesay and the Isle of Bute.

The options appraisal involved:

  • Detailed investigative analysis of the building to understand its structure and current condition
  • Consideration of current uses and local needs
  • Research of existing and potential new local and wider markets
  • Identification of appropriate new uses and an innovative and sustainable design strategy to ensure their fit with the building
  • Preparation of an outline business plan to establish potential capital and revenue viability

Next Steps

The findings of the options appraisal were presented to the public at a well attended drop-in day held at the Pavilion on Sunday 07 November 2010.  Over 120 people attended, and kindly completed feedback forms.  Overall, the proposals were warmly received by those attending.  Some very useful comments and feedback were received, which the Project Team will take into consideration as the full business case is developed.

The Rothesay CHORD Project Board formally received the options appraisal report at its meeting on 24 November 2010.  The Board welcomed the report, and agreed that the Project Team should continue to develop the project to full business case, and that both options 2 and 3 should be explored in detail. 


Through a series of workshops and an evaluation process, the following three options have been developed.

Option 1: Conservation only

Estimated cost: £3.88m


  • Existing structure and fabric repaired
  • Current uses continue, no adaptation of main hall volume
  • Enhancement of existing facilities


  • Potential to host more and better revenue generating events


  • Unlikely to be viable or sustainable in the long term
  • Unlikely to attract sufficient capital grant support
  • Unlikely to contribute to the CHORD objectives of delivering major economic & regeneration benefits to Bute.

Option 2: As Option 1, plus the proposals below

Estimated cost:  £4.57m


  • Ground floor – retail unit, commercial income generating space (with potential for a community recording studio/rehearsal space)
  • Main hall – restored to original condition
  • First floor – bistro/cafe, garden cafe, rejuvenated terrace and children’s play area
  • Roof terrace – upgraded paving and lighting


  • Regeneration benefits such as job creation and tourism opportunities
  • Potential increase in number and quality of events
  • Capacity to appeal to an off-Island weddings market


  • Challenging to fund
  • Continuing public subsidy likely to be required

Option 3: As Option 2, plus the proposals below


  • Main hall – reduction in size to enable more adaptable uses
  • Side wings – new accommodation for various uses (e.g meetings, gallery space, exhibitions)
  • New upper gallery – to provide additional seating for large events
  • Sun terrace – introduction of a framed, glazed system to allow maximum public access
  • Introduction of bedroom accommodation (4*) on the roof, with an option of further chalet bedroom accommodation within the rear sloping garden


  • Potential to achieve a viable and sustainable future for the Pavilion
  • Capable of delivering a range of public and community benefits