The Rothesay Pavilion project, the second of Argyll and Bute Council’s two regeneration projects in Rothesay, took a step forward last week as members agreed to the outline design.
This indicative design will form the basis of a business plan as well as planning and funding applications.
The next stage involves making an application for planning and listed building consent and progressing with funding applications to the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, trusts and foundations (by the Rothesay Pavilion Trust), the Coastal Communities Fund, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Historic Scotland.
A business plan is currently being drafted which should be finalised by the end of the summer and go before the area committee.
Should the business plan prove robust and the funding be secured the full business case will go before the council in early 2015.
If the full business case is approved, detailed project development and contractor procurement will take place over the remainder of 2015, with the building closing in the autumn of 2015 and work starting in early 2016. The work is likely to take in the region of 18 months, with the newly renovated pavilion re-opening in mid-2017.
The design proposals were influenced by the views of the local community and create the potential to attract funding from a range of sources
The outline design could include:
- In the main hall: full upgrade, including back of house facilities, the creation of a second bar and a goods lift to the lower floor below to allow storage of equipment
- McKinlay Street Wing: creation of space for a second performance and community venue.
- On the roof: a new extension to provide let-able offices and multi-function space.
- On the first floor: a new café with an improved and enlarged catering kitchen, improved storage and new toilets
- On the ground floor: enhancement of the foyer, an open plan box office/shop, a multi-purpose exhibition space, toilets, staff office, staff changing and shower facilities, a lift and a disabled access ramp to the main entrance.
- Infrastructure: a full mechanical and electrical upgrade including the installation of a lift to all floors
- Outside: full repairs
The committee recognised that this was a significant step forward and they were encouraged to see the project taking shape.
The committee is also aware that there are still some challenges ahead – developing the business plan and securing funding from a variety of sources – but the design proposals are encouraging.
In arriving at these designs the council worked closely with local people and is moving forward with a philosophy for the building that reflects the desires of the community.
The drawings were on display in the pavilion for two months, guided tours were arranged and a community consultation event in early April was well attended. The community has engaged positively with the design proposals
Going forward the council is still eager to hear the views of local people and will be working with them along the way.
This is a key part of the council’s investment in Bute and its ambition to stimulate the local economy and will follow on from the hugely successful Townscape Heritage Initiative, which has done fantastic work to restore a number of town centre buildings to their former glory.