Work on the latest stage of Rothesay’s Townscape Heritage Initiative - the renovation of Guildford Court on the east side of Guildford Square - is now officially complete.
The most visible sign of the improvement work is the removal of the building’s external coat of paint, putting the stonework underneath - which was found to be in excellent condition after the paint was removed - on show to the public for the first time in many years.
The work has also involved the complete overhaul of the roof, including slated roof works, lead work, and chimney repairs as well as associated timber repairs and rot works.
The whole building was re-pointed in lime and cast iron rainwater systems were removed, fully restored and reconstructed, while a new front door and canopy have been installed, significantly enhancing both the building and the streetscene.
The four owners in the building formed an owners’ association and commissioned an architect to survey the building, prepare technical drawings and make applcations for planning permission and listed building consent.
A schedule of works was prepared and tenders issued before a grant application to the THI for 90 per cent of the cost of the repairs.
Work is currently ongoing on three other THI priority projects - 11-13 Montague Street, 15-19 Montague Street (otherwise known as the Guildford Square gap site, soon to be occupied by a Tesco Metro store and two floors of flats) and Duncan’s Halls in East Princes Street.
Work will start soon on the renewal of the shop fronts at Cafe Zavaroni in Albert Place and the Sea Dragon Chinese restaurant in East Princes Street.
The Rothesay Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) has seen an investment of more than £2.5 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland, LEADER and Argyll and Bute Council.
The project runs from March 2011 to March 2016 and, along with the planned regeneration of Rothesay Pavilion, forms the Rothesay contribution to the council’s CHORD scheme, set up to regenerate the area’s five main towns - Campbeltown, Helensburgh, Oban, Rothesay and Dunoon.