Rothesay Pavilion Charity release - ‘Leading lights’ attend the Scottish Parliament to support Rothesay Pavilion restoration


Update: for news about construction progress for the Pavilion please see Rothesay Pavilion - Project updates | Argyll and Bute Council (


Leading figures from Scotland’s arts and culture, architecture and design, tourism, education, business, politics, local government sectors and key community representatives gathered recently for an informal briefing held in the Scottish Parliament Garden Lobby, sponsored by MSP Clare Adamson and hosted by Rothesay Pavilion Charity board. 

Angus Robertson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Constitution, External Affairs and Culture attended as did ‘Scotland’s Home of the Year’ judge and presenter Anna Campbell-Jones.

The event was designed to garner support for the Pavilion’s ongoing refurbishment while sharing plans for the building to become a top ten visitor attraction, modern cultural industries hub, interconnected business destination and vibrant community gathering place. It will offer next generation education and an exciting programme of family friendly events and entertainment, boosting tourism and driving economic regeneration on the isle of Bute.

Broadcaster Janice Forsyth, chair of Rothesay Pavilion Charity said: “We were delighted that over a hundred of Scotland’s most influential leaders could join us and we were heartened by the level of affection for the Pavilion and recognition of its standing as a true Scottish icon. The building is a stunning example of the international Modernist style, inspired by the Bauhaus school of design which continues to motivate architects and innovators today. I have no doubt that architecture fans will come from across the world to see it and be moved by all its modernist magnificence.”

Speakers at the Garden Lobby event included Chris Stewart, President of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS), who chose Rothesay Pavilion as his favourite building while reinforcing its architectural significance and critical importance to Scotland and internationally.

Main contractors Robertson are carrying out the renovation programme on the A-listed Pavilion, which was designed in 1938 by young Scottish architect James Andrew Carrick. A further £4 Million is required to complete works which are currently scheduled for completion by Autumn 2025, subject to funding. Fundraising initiatives are being led by the building owners, Argyll & Bute Council while Rothesay Pavilion Charity will operate the building following completion and handover. 

Councillor Gary Mulvaney, Argyll and Bute Council Policy Lead for Finance Services commented: “A restored Rothesay Pavilion has the potential to deliver multi-generational benefits and opportunities on a local and national level. With this investment, restoration and transformation, we are determined that The Pavilion will go from strength to strength, providing a wonderful, modern facility for the community, Bute businesses and young people for generations to come. Together with our partners, we’re exploring partnership options with all supporters with a view to reaching the final £4M fundraising target of this £37m project.”

Chris Stewart, President of the RIAS added, “the final proposals for the remodelling of Rothesay Pavilion, retain the main hall and dance floor to which is added exhibition, and gallery space, a studio and second performance space and dedicated multimedia facilities and services for young people. The planned renaissance of Rothesay Pavilion, however, goes way deeper than the preservation of physical and cultural heritage. It has the power to act as an economic multiplier, a catalyst for the creative industries, and a potential magnet for both architectural industrial design enthusiasts and fans of popular music and dance.”

Restoration works re-commenced in May 2023 following a break caused by the original contractor entering administration, with Robertson appointed following a procurement process managed by Argyll & Bute Council.

Current funding partners include the European Regional Development Fund Scotland Programme 2014-2020, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, The National Heritage Lottery Fund, and the Coastal Communities Fund. 

Supporters can donate via the Rothesay Pavilion website -!/

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Notes to Editors:

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic shutdown, Rothesay Pavilion was scheduled to re-open its doors in late autumn 2020.

The extensive redevelopment programme, now re-commenced, will see the creation of a stylish and contemporary range of facilities . Perfect for a diverse range of audiences, large scale performance and exhibitions, conferences, product launches, film screenings, festivals, indoor markets, and civic celebrations. Also, a range of indoor recreational daytime  and ‘wet weather’ activities to meet the needs of family holidaymakers and locals for example, storytelling, music making, indoor bowling, pool, table tennis and adventure play.


Permanent tours across three floors - guided and self-guided, digital bespoke ‘backstage’ building tours and playful/ interactive storytelling over three floors reveal the building’s hidden history and timeline;

Eating and drinking - Café-bar, magnificent external seafront terrace with commanding views over the Firth of Clyde, and rear garden area - space to experience ‘Bute’s Kitchen’ Food, drink, and local recipes from the collaboration of island food industry entrepreneurs.

The Pavilion People’s Archive – a growing physical and virtual space – the archive will be a fascinating and wonderful asset with local insights about the history, heritage and people behind the Pavilion, the events, entertainers, artists, royal visitors, staff and audiences from the 1930’s to current day.

Events arena/auditorium and bar - the biggest gathering space on the island including one the largest original sprung wooden dance floors in Scotland. (8,956sqft/832m2) incorporating a state-of-the-art concert audio system and upgraded accessible backstage facilities.

Intimate ‘underground’ club space/studio theatre with separate/private side entrance, reception, stage and bar. Access to new backstage facilities, accessible dressing rooms and showering facilities, suited to small-scale events, celebrations, demonstrations, workshops, and workouts.

Seafront gallery, ground floor foyer and airy circulation space - for temporary exhibitions, installations, receptions and networking. Opportunities to see and explore the latest trends, new technologies and ideas in popular culture that inspire our future creative industries - fabric to furniture, VR to AR, photography to fashion, architecture to interiors, sculpture to song, cooking to craft.

Shopping - Contemporary craft, design retail and concession space. High profile exposure for local amateur and professional artists, makers, and dealers to present and grow their business, develop ecommerce and/or meet visitors and clients to present and sell their work in a busy professional setting.

New multimedia facilities will provide a focal point for young people, providing a dedicated space for rehearsal and workshops in - for example - digital media, photography, and filmmaking, helping to, develop skills, increase confidence and support new pathways into work.

Co-working – self-contained contemporary office accommodation, or a whole house with bespoke kitchen and meeting facilities and access to business networking opportunities.

Private Space and meeting rooms – a flexible range of spaces that can be hired individually, or in conjunction with other spaces on offer throughout the building. These bespoke rooms, much like space throughout the whole building, can be used for classes, workshops, training days, photo shoots and filming, community events and celebrations, rehearsals, or breakout sessions.

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