Councillors ‘failed challenge of old Rothesay Academy’

The old Rothesay Academy building has been boarded up since the school's departure for its new Townhead home in 2007. Nearly six years on, there's still no sign of the Chapehill site being developed or demolished.
The old Rothesay Academy building has been boarded up since the school's departure for its new Townhead home in 2007. Nearly six years on, there's still no sign of the Chapehill site being developed or demolished.

Bute’s councillors have failed to rise to the challenge presented by the island’s derelict buildings - and in particular the old Rothesay Academy.

So says Rothesay resident Don Williams, who lives next door to the site of the former Academy building on Chapelhill, and has watched it steadily deteriorate since the school moved to its new Townhead home at Rothesay Joint Campus in the summer of 2007.

Six years on from the move, Mr Williams told a meeting of Bute Community Council this week: “Following the local elections last year I set our three councillors a challenge to do something about our derelict buildings - particularly the old Rothesay Academy.

“A year later and all that has happened is the bottom building at the old Academy has been secured with metal fencing.”

One of those three councillors, Len Scoullar, told Mr Williams there was a straightforward reason for the lack of activity at the Chapelhill site.

“There’s no money to develop it, it’s as simple as that,” he said.

“Also, the lower building is a B-listed building and it can’t be demolished. It was almost sold to [housing association] Fyne Homes, but financial support from the Scottish Government was taken away.”