Rothesay Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) (NOW COMPLETED)

Before THI Project RothesayAfter THI in Rothesay

Rothesay Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) was a successful heritage-led regeneration project, which has substantially improved the gateway into the Isle of Bute, and has greatly enhanced the conservation area.

Rothesay THI was a partnership project, with funding from Heritage Lottery Fund (£1.5M), Argyll and Bute Council (£0.5M), Historic Environment Scotland (£0.5M) and LEADER (£98K). Through the offer of grant, the project supported 64 property owners to:

  • comprehensively restore 4 tenements;
  • redevelop 1 gap site;
  • substantially repair 10 shopfronts; and,
  • make smaller scale repairs to a further 8 buildings.

With owner contributions included, the total project investment was £4.2M.

In addition, 4 construction jobs were created as a direct result of the project, and 2,865 people participated in a programme of complementary training and events, which sought to celebrate the unique qualities of Bute and to educate on the importance of traditional building materials and techniques.

Feedback from an event held in 2015 found:

98% of 92 respondents agreed that the THI investment had made a positive impact on the town; and

64% of 47 visitor respondents agreed that the improvements would contribute in their decision to make a return visit.

Feedback included:

  • “The project has had a huge positive impact on the front of the town”.
  • “Makes a big improvement/difference when approaching Rothesay by ferry. Very encouraging!”
  • “Brilliant project for the economic development of Rothesay to encourage more visitors to Rothesay and the Isle of Bute”.
  • “Beautiful-makes us really proud of our town!”

Rothesay THI 1Rothesay THI 2Rothesay THI 3


A new Townscape Heritage (TH2) project (2017 - 2023) is currently in delivery.