Argyll and Bute Council last week (Thursday 25th June) welcomed the views of all those who want to see Dunoon’s historic wooden pier brought back to life and invited the Dunoon Pier Community Trust (DPCT) to an advisory partnership group.
The council has big ambitions for the regeneration of Dunoon’s waterfront and wants to work in partnership with anyone who has an equal passion, expertise and commitment to revitalising the town.
A group will be established with local councillors and members of the community interest group Dunoon Pier Community Trust (DPCT) which will work in partnership with anyone else who has an interest in the future of the pier.
Leader of Argyll and Bute Council, Dunoon-based Councillor Dick Walsh, welcomed this partnership, saying: ‘’The arrangement agreed last week is consistent with the kind of hugely successful partnerships we have with other community groups with an interest in regeneration projects across the area, for example the Friends of Hermitage Park in Helensburgh and the Rothesay Pavilion Charity. For some time now the council has been making a considerable effort to drive forward positive economic change in Dunoon and it’s heartening to have community groups like this come on board.
‘’The council is committed to engaging with any and all members of the community, not just in Dunoon or even Cowal but across Argyll and Bute and beyond, who are as passionate as we are about the regeneration of this famous structure. As probably the best remaining example of a wooden Victorian-era pier in Scotland, it forms a key part of the Clyde’s maritime heritage. The initial work to secure the substructure and bring some of the buildings back into a usable condition underway and progressing well, with a completion date set for spring next year.
‘’The work to the substructure is costing nearly £3million and it is predicted that it will cost at least the same again to take forward any kind of second stage project.
‘’The real prize is the second phase which will bring all the buildings back into a sustainable economic use, whatever that may be. Working in partnership is the best way to secure the funding needed to make this a reality.
‘’The group will help to consider particular issues and work towards practical solutions for the sustainable, long-term future of the pier.
‘’One of the key priorities for this council is the building of strong communities; a strong community is one which gets involved in the life of its town and in shaping a prosperous future. I would encourage anyone with ideas, expertise and commitment to come and work with us on this project.’’
The Bute and Cowal Area Committee will appoint three councillors to the partnership body, with the DPCT expected to select members. An initial meeting will be arranged and a chair will be nominated for consideration by the council.
Local accountability will remain, with Bute and Cowal councillors playing a key part in future investments decisions.
Any proposals for the future use of the pier will be informed by the feedback from the whole community.
The Bute and Cowal Area Committee passed the following motion at its meeting on 7th April 2015:
The Bute and Cowal Area Committee wishes to work in partnership with the Dunoon Pier Community Trust (DPCT) to ensure that the historic Dunoon Pier is refurbished and brought back into use in a manner that reflects the community’s views on what the pier should be used for.
The Bute and Cowal area committee recommends to the full council that a new sub-committee of the area committee is created for this purpose.
The sub-committee will have responsibility for the refurbishment and future use of the pier and officers will report to this sub-committee. The sub-committee will in turn report to the area committee. The proposal is that the sub-committee comprises 3 elected members from the Dunoon and Cowal wards and 3 members of the board of Dunoon Pier Community Trust.
The 3 elected members from these 2 wards will be determined by a decision of the area committee for Bute and Cowal. The 3 members of the SCIO[Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation] board will be determined by that board. The sub-committee will elect a chair and vice chair at its first meeting if the creation of the sub-committee is agreed by the full council.
The council approved the following motion yesterday (Thursday 25th June), moved by Councillor Dick Walsh and seconded by Councillor Ellen Morton, by 18 votes to 10:
That members of the council:-
- Note that Dunoon Pier is an A listed structure which is recorded in Historic Scotland’s Buildings at Risk Register;
- Note that Dunoon Pier project forms part of the council’s wider Dunoon waterfront project and that the works are currently ongoing in relation to Phase 1 on the redevelopment programme;
- Note that there is currently no business case, budget or implementation programme for the Phase 2 works;
- Note that the council does not currently consider the wooden pier in Dunoon to be surplus to its requirements, is not listed on the council’s surplus property list and therefore is not currently considering any form of third sector asset transfer;
- Note the advice in the report that there is a potential for conflict of interest in the event that members of the Dunoon Pier Community Trust (DPCT) are appointed to a sub-committee which may have the responsibility of appraising a third sector asset transfer;
- Note the decision of the Bute and Cowal Area Committee at their meeting held on 7th April 2015;
- Agree to promote a partnership arrangement between the Bute and Cowal Area Committee and the Dunoon Pier Community Trust or with such other organisations or groups as may be identified as having a relevant interest in the future of Dunoon Pier and associated matters;
- Agrees that the partnership will consist of three members appointed from the Bute and Cowal Area Committee and three representatives from the DPCT, or any other organisation or group identified as having a relevant interest in the future of Dunoon Pier;
- Agrees to the following terms of reference for the partnership:
a. The purpose of the partnership is to identify issues and work towards solutions for the future of Dunoon Pier and to promote the pier buildings as an asset for the people and communities of Dunoon and Cowal to the benefit of the economic, cultural and leisure life of the area.
b. The partnership will be chaired with the chair being appointed by the full council.
c. The partnership may invite attendance from subject matter experts as required by the agenda to support the development of the partnership.
d. The partnership should meet quarterly, on a schedule to be agreed at the first partnership meeting.
e. The partnership is an advisory group and is not responsible for policy making for any of the constituent partner organisations.
f. The minute of the partnership will be published within 20 working days of each meeting with a draft agenda circulated to the attendees five working days ahead of each meeting.