Rothesay Pavilion Regeneration backed by Heritage Lottery Fund

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Published Date: 

19 Nov 2012 - 15:13

The regeneration of Rothesay Pavilion has received initial support* for a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) bid of £2.7m, including development funding of £103,100.


This impressive site is one the most important examples of a Modern Movement building in the UK; it is located in an old Scottish seaside town, an area now in need of sustainable and far-reaching regeneration.  The Grade A listed Pavilion once attracted countless holidaymakers and was at the heart of this vibrant, bustling seaside destination.  Its current state of neglect illustrates and contributes to the wider decline of the area as tourists sought out sunnier climes for their holiday and the local economy suffered.


The Pavilions’ successful reuse has huge potential for the local area. The HLF’s support for the project illustrates the projects viability and its potential to provide the local community with new facilities, opportunities and activities.  This endorsement now means the local project can progress with further fundraising, development of a creative strategy and setting up a new charity that will run the site when the project is complete. The Pavilion project will create a nationally significant cultural centre and visitor attraction in the heart of Rothesay that will transform the seafront and have a major economic impact on the town.


Councillor Robert MacIntyre, the Chair of the Rothesay CHORD Project Board, said: “This good news from the Heritage Lottery Fund means that we have now identified over 50% of the funding required to support this important project for Rothesay.  We can now look forward to real progress in the coming two years and work is due to begin at the end of 2014”.


Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “This wonderful 1930’s Pavilion is evocative of Rothesay’s heyday as a thriving tourist resort. Its resurgence as a cultural venue for the community would not only save an important piece of the Bute’s heritage but would have a positive impact on the regeneration of the town as a whole. HLF is delighted to give its support at this stage and we look forward to seeing how the plans develop.”

The Board is working with The Prince’s Regeneration Trust (PRT) – a national charity that sustainably regenerates communities across the UK by rescuing and reusing redundant historic buildings. They have successfully project managed the development to date, carried out community consultation, developed a Business Case and wrote the application to the HLF on behalf of Argyll and Bute Council.


PRT’s Chief Executive, Ros Kerslake said: “It is brilliant news for this nationally important project. It is huge boost and allows us to really gain momentum in successfully restoring and reusing this fascinating building. We look forward to working closely with local residents and our project partners to create a mixed use space that will unlock the area’s huge potential for growth and rightly celebrate its wonderful heritage as a popular Scottish seaside resort.”

 The Pavilion is owned and operated by Argyll and Bute Council. Built in 1938 and designed to be a public building to host dances, functions and conferences, as well as to provide sports facilities for both the summer and winter populations.


The Project will create a striking 21st Century attraction which will celebrate the Isle of Bute’s rich heritage as a vibrant Scottish seaside resort, which in its hey-day during the 1950-60s attracted thousands of visitors. To this day, the Category A listed Pavilion remains as an immediately recognisable structure that stands as a symbol of Rothesay and which, for the last seven decades, has been at the heart of Bute island life and a source of great community pride; it currently continues to be used by some 40 local community groups, together with a range of other events and performances including hosting jazz festivals, visiting artistes and weddings. The Pavilion project will create a nationally significant cultural centre and visitor attraction in the heart of Rothesay that will transform the seafront and have a major economic impact on the town.


The Prince’s Regeneration Trust is one of The Prince of Wales’s charities. It sustainably regenerates communities by rescuing, restoring and reusing historic buildings across the UK. Its projects give redundant or underused buildings a viable and long-term future which will benefit the local community and spur wider regeneration. It works in partnership with community groups, building owners, local authorities, developers and other cross-sector stakeholders to find sustainable new uses for buildings at risk. It operates as advisor, enabler, facilitator, fundraiser, partner and advocate. It focuses mainly on areas in socially and economically deprived areas where the benefit of regeneration will be the greatest.


Heritage Lottery Fund Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage.  HLF has supported more than 33,000 projects with more than £5billion across the UK.  For more information, please contact Katie Owen, HLF Press Office, on tel: 020 7591 6036/07973 613820.


* A first-round pass means the project meets HLF criteria for funding and they believe it has potential to deliver high-quality benefits and value for Lottery money. The application was in competition with other supportable projects, so a first-round pass is an endorsement of outline proposals.  Having been awarded a first-round pass, the project now has up to two years to submit fully developed proposals to compete for a firm award.