Doubts resurface over famous Rothesay building

Rothesay's historic Winter Garden houses the Isle of Bute Discovery Centre, VisitScotland's information centre for the island.
Rothesay's historic Winter Garden houses the Isle of Bute Discovery Centre, VisitScotland's information centre for the island.

Up to £2 million needs to be spent to secure the long-term future of Rothesay’s famous Winter Garden, a local conservation expert has warned.

Bute resident Jim Mitchell says the building, which was opened in the 1920s and currently houses VisitScotland’s information centre for the island, will become in “alarmingly bad condition” without substantial restoration work.

“The work done on the building in the past was great in terms of the knowledge and funding that was available at the time,” Mr Mitchell told The Buteman, “but it’s getting to the point where the Winter Garden will become in alarmingly bad condition.

“Just from looking at it, I would say £1.5m to £2m would be needed to sort it for the long term.

“What it needs is a detailed conservation report done on it and for that report to be used as the first step towards getting funding.”

A spokesperson for VisitScotland told The Buteman the organisation was committed to the upkeep of the building in the long term, and said refurbishment of parts weathered by the elements would begin in November.

* Read the full story in the October 17 issue of The Buteman - on sale now.