£14 million target success for Rothesay Pavilion

Rothesay can look forward to a jobs and tourism boost with the ambitious £14 million fundraising target achieved for the restoration of its Pavilion. A £4.1million National Lottery grant, over £1 million from the European Regional Development Fund and £750,000 from Historic Environment Scotland have put in place the funding needed to get work started on restoring the Grade A listed building to its former glory. Councillor Gary Mulvaney, Depute Leader of Argyll and Bute Council and Policy Lead for Strategic Finance and Capital Regeneration Programme said:“Argyll and Bute Council has invested and successfully attracted millions of pounds of funding to bring this much loved building back to life. The fundraising target was ambitious – it had to be, to deliver a revitalised Pavilion that will be a key attraction for residents and visitors alike. The Pavilion will be transformed into a hub for cultural and community use, bringing with it jobs and a new tourist attraction for Bute and the wider area. Raising £14 million is a fantastic achievement, which has been made possible by the hard work of council employees and our partner, the Rothesay Pavilion charity. Together they have promoted successfully to external funders, our vision of the Pavilion as a driver for economic growth and quality of life on Bute. I would like to thank everyone involved in reaching this extremely exciting stage in the transformation of Rothesay Pavilion.”

Architect's impression of the new gallery space planned for Rothesay Pavilion (Elder & Cannon, 2017)

Architect's impression of the new gallery space planned for Rothesay Pavilion (Elder & Cannon, 2017)

The project will see the Pavilion transformed to provide:

  • A year-round programme of changing exhibitions in a purpose designed exhibition area. It is anticipated that the exhibitions will range from international artists to local history
  • A shop selling local products
  • A café/restaurant selling local food and drink
  • The revamped main hall which will accommodate a range of events including music, theatre, dance, sports, weddings and various community uses.
  • A second venue for smaller performances of music, comedy, family celebrations and community use
  • A new top floor which will provide a meeting/function room with fantastic views over Rothesay Bay as well as three new offices. One office will be occupied by Rothesay Pavilion Charity, one will be used as a multi media studio and one will be available for rent.
  • A workhub in the former caretaker’s house at the rear of the site which will provide three independent offices for local businesses along with a shared meeting room and office resources.
  • The new facility is expected to employ over 30 people and attract over 70,000 visits per year

Julia Twomlow, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Rothesay Pavilion Charity said: “Securing this additional funding is a marker of the architectural and historic importance of Rothesay Pavilion, which is recognised at a national level. It is great news for the Rothesay Pavilion restoration project, but also for the town as a whole. The project is only one of an exciting range of development initiatives for Rothesay over the next couple of years, which we are proud to be a part of.’

The £14 million target has been reached with contributions from a range of funders. The Heritage Lottery Fund’s decision to make a further  contribution of £856,922 achieved the target.Lucy Casot, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “This wonderful Pavilion is evocative of Rothesay’s heyday as a thriving tourist resort. Its resurgence as a cultural venue for the local community and visitors will not only save an important piece of the Bute’s heritage but will have a positive impact on the regeneration of this town. We are delighted that, thanks to players of The National Lottery, we are able to help put Rothesay Pavilion back at the heart of island life and community pride.”

The contract to begin restoration work on the building is expected to be awarded later this autumn with a view to work starting before Christmas. End date for completion of the project is July 2019.

The list of funders who have made this possible are:

  • Argyll and Bute Council
  • Heritage Lottery Fund
  • European Regional Development Fund
  • Historic Environment Scotland
  • Highlands and Islands Enterprise
  • Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund
  • Coastal Communities Fund
  • Scottish Communities Landfill Fund
  • The Robertson Trust
  • Barcapel Foundation
  • Foyle Foundation
  • Garfield Weston Foundation
  • Wolfson Foundation