A ‘top 10’ national tourism and cultural destination that reaffirms Bute as one of the best places to live and visit – these are just two of the roles campaigners have their sights set on for Rothesay Pavilion, if they can secure the additional funding needed to transform this much loved, iconic 20th century building.
A multi-million-pound investment programme, by Argyll and Bute Council and funding partners, was mid-way through transforming the internationally-acclaimed 1938 building into an entertainment, events, business venue, and community hub, for local people and visitors to Bute. This was halted however by the impact of the pandemic; the building contractor went into administration during lockdown, and since then competition and costs for construction resources have continued to escalate.
As a result, transforming the Pavilion into a modern-day facility, and driver for the area’s economic growth, will cost an additional £15 million.
The case for investment has been set out in a comprehensive funding brochure - highlighting envisaged community and business benefits - produced by Rothesay Pavilion Charity, the social enterprise which will run the building as a thriving concern when refurbishment works are complete.
On the island itself, hoardings around the building will shortly depict how the transformed venue could look and what it could deliver, locally and more widely.
Future benefits include the Pavilion becoming an eco-tourism centre of excellence, a prestigious events venue and business base, and next generation centre of learning with numerous local career opportunities, delivering a variety of functions for local and national benefit.
Leader of Argyll and Bute Council, Councillor Robin Currie said:
“Competition for funding is especially tough just now, and our fundraising target is high. So too however is the potential of the Pavilion, as a driver for the economy of Bute and more widely for Scotland’s tourism and events sectors.
The unprecedented and unforeseeable consequences of the covid pandemic and sustained cost of living crisis have put completing the Pavilion’s transformation way beyond the resources of a local authority. We are confident in the modern-day role this special building could play in Scotland’s rural and island regeneration, and so will do all we can to attract the additional funding it needs.”
Broadcaster Janice Forsyth, Chair of Rothesay Pavilion Charity added:
“Rothesay Pavilion is an internationally-recognised building of architectural and cultural significance. As stewards of the building following its planned renaissance, we’re excited for the rejuvenated building to become a social hub and economic multiplier for the community, as well as a catalyst for the creative and digital industries and a magnet for tourists, particularly architectural and entertainment enthusiasts.”
Find out more about the transformation of Rothesay Pavilion and its case for investment at https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/chord-project/rothesay-pavilion-project