People in Dunoon are set to see big changes in the coming year with the ambitious Queen’s Hall redevelopment set to go ahead with the award of a construction contract, the scheme to build a new Dunclutha children’s home underway and work beginning on a funding bid to upgrade town centre buildings.
This week’s meeting of Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy and Resources Committee will be asked to recommend that the council invest an additional £2million in the Queen’s Hall, following on from the recently agreed extra £250,000 in the new Dunclutha children’s home and £500,000 to match fund a Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) bid to Historic Environment Scotland. These investments in Dunoon’s future will be funded from money available in the existing capital plan.
Leader of Argyll and Bute Council, Dunoon-based Councillor Dick Walsh, said:
“The agreed design for the hall is far more aspirational than the one originally envisaged in 2008. Following extensive public consultation, we have added outside landscaping and a gym facility as well as a major road realignment to the design. These additions, combined with the rising costs of construction across Scotland, mean additional investment is needed to ensure the completed building both meets the needs of local residents as well as creating an iconic welcome for marine visitors to Dunoon.
“The new custom-made Dunclutha house for children and young people in need of care will create a supportive, nurturing environment, giving them the chance to make the most of life’s opportunities. This additional investment is putting the necessary financial buffers in place, ensuring that we can move forward with the project and underlining the council’s commitment to getting it right for every child. The building is currently in the early stages of construction with foundations and dwarf walls being constructed and the new access road from James Street being formed.
“Work is continuing on the development of a bid to Historic Environment Scotland for £1million of funding to upgrade key buildings in Dunoon’s town centre, improving the route between the Burgh Hall and the Queen’s Hall, complementing both projects. In total, with the £500,000 commitment from the council, potential funding from HES and private investment we could see around £2million being spent in and around Argyll Street.
“This council is fully committed to investing in the future of our area, creating new job opportunities and unlocking the potential in our economy of opportunity. Despite the challenging financial climate facing local government we have been able, through our prudent financial planning, to make big investments which are going to make a real difference.”
It is expected that a contract will be awarded for the Queen’s Hall project in September, with work set to start soon after that.
Work is progressing well with Dunclutha and is expected to be complete around spring 2017.
The Dunoon CARS bid will be submitted by the end of August, with the outcome expected in January 2017.