Argyll and Bute town Rothesay’s regeneration programme is set to benefit from £1.5 million in heritage lottery funding. The cash brings the project total to £2.6 million and will give the town a new lease of life.
This latest funding will be used to refurbish Duncan’s Hall, East Princes Street, 1-3 Montague Street, 11-13 Montague Street, 21-27 Montague Street and the former Guildford Court Hotel in Guildford Square.
There’s a priority site for development at 15-19 Montague Street and there are shop fronts eligible for grants on Albert Place and Guildford Square.
Councillor Len Scoullar, chair of the Rothesay CHORD Project Board, said: “This is fantastic news, not just for Rothesay residents and the wider Bute community, but for the whole of Argyll and Bute.
“The local community has been fully supportive of the plans to regenerate the town centre from day one. It is very exciting that such a major step towards seeing their ambitions fulfilled has now been achieved.”
Commenting from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Colin McLean said: "While Heritage Lottery Fund investment in preserving the unique character of Rothesay’s townscapes is not a universal panacea, looking after the heritage is an incredibly effective way of supporting the community’s economic life.
“Our research shows that Town Heritage Initiative schemes can really help turn local economies around, not only by improving how an historic area looks and feels, but by prompting business start-ups and creating new jobs. Against the current economic downturn, the future of Rothesay is looking positive. HLF is looking forward to working with all the partner organisations in carrying this momentum forward to ensure a brighter future for the town.”
The Rothesay Townscape Heritage Initiative has already secured half a million pounds from Historic Scotland to spend on priority buildings in and around Guildford Square and residents will be able to apply for grants this summer.
Deputy Head of Investment at Historic Scotland Thomas Knowles says ‘There are some wonderful historic buildings within Rothesay and these, when taken into account with the proposed economic regeneration of the town and the full support of the local community, make for a very exciting opportunity. Historic Scotland looks forward to working closely with Argyll and Bute Council and the other key stakeholders to deliver a project that Rothesay deserves’.
Another £100,000 has been awarded by the LEADER programme for the training and education programme which will raise awareness of the island’s special character and get local people involved. Contractors will be taught new skills in traditional building techniques.
Argyll and Bute Council has already committed £500,000 to the project and another £1.9 million to the restoration and refurbishment of the Rothesay Pavilion. The council’s goal is to invest £30 million to assist in the economic regeneration of five if its principal waterfront towns – Campbeltown, Helensburgh, Oban, Rothesay and Dunoon.
The project promises to be an exciting one and will be launched on the 11th June to celebrate. Details will follow on the council’s website.