Rothesay Pavilion at the heart of Bute’s cultural and community life

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Published Date: 

5 Mar 2013 - 11:49

Argyll and Bute Council is aiming to revitalise the iconic Rothesay Pavilion on the town’s seafront, to provide a community social enterprise and a significant cultural venue that will appeal to both the local community and visitors to Bute. Together with the Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) project, the Pavilion Project forms the second of the council’s CHORD projects on the island, vital elements in the overall regeneration of the island.

The Category A listed Rothesay Pavilion, exposed on the seafront since the 1930’s, is now in poor condition and is significantly under-used and under-resourced. The conservation and upgrading of the Pavilion has the potential to create jobs, improve the town’s environment, attract visitors and play a key part in the island’s cultural life.

Following appraisal of a number of options for the building and community consultation held in 2010 by council project management consultants The Prince’s Regeneration Trust, a design scheme and business plan have been developed. The Heritage Lottery Fund has recently awarded development funding* to Argyll and Bute Council, which will allow PRT to develop the proposed scheme in detail. There is a great deal to do over the coming months, not least to put in place a social enterprise, and to secure match funding for the essential repairs and refurbishment, before work can start on site in 2015. A Steering Group has been set up to feed in expert cultural advice, and to represent the interests of existing Pavilion user groups.  

The council’s Pavilion team along with the Pavilion’s Creative Community Steering Group would like to invite you to an Open Evening on Wed 20 March, from 5.30pm to 9pm. All are welcome to this drop-in event in the Pavilion’s Cafe.

There is no need to book, you can arrive at any time and stay for as long or as short a time as you wish.  There will be a range of themed tables set out for sharing ideas on the current proposals for the Pavilion and on the next stages of the project, as well as for discussion on a number of related themes. 

Lead Councillor for Bute and Cowal, Robert MacIntyre said,

“It is important the people of Rothesay and Bute get involved in this iconic building’s future. I would encourage as many people as possible to come along to the Open Evening and have their say. I am looking forward to seeing the Pavilion once it has been fully upgraded as it has a vital role to play in the island’s future.”

The Pavilion team are working with HI~Arts to bring their cultural ‘Hit Team’ to Bute on 20th and 21st March. The ‘Hit Team’ has worked successfully in numerous mainland and island communities including Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, Islay, Helmsdale in Sutherland, Oban and Dunoon. The Hit Team will be at the Open Evening to provide creative and cultural advice, and to help to build a network for continued exchange of creative ideas, placing the refurbished Pavilion as the heart of Bute’s cultural and community life.

The HI~Arts team will also be available for bookable one-to-one surgeries of thirty minutes each during the visit, for anyone with a professional interest in visual arts and craft, writing and publishing, music, planning and running events, marketing and developing audiences, or the national arts and heritage context in general. Anyone wishing to book a one-to-one surgery can do so via the HI~Arts web site.

 HI~Arts hope to return later in the year to deliver a Crafts and Visual Arts networking event.