New approach to Bute’s economic challenges?

Guildford Square in Rothesay is the focus of a Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) project worth more than �2.5 million.
Guildford Square in Rothesay is the focus of a Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) project worth more than �2.5 million.

The first steps are being taken down a road which could lead to a new approach to tackling the economic challenges facing Rothesay and Bute.

A feasibility study has been commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise to see whether Rothesay might be a suitable place for an ‘alliance for action’ under the auspices of the Scottish Regeneration Forum.

The forum’s chairman, Brian MacDonald, has already spoken to several community representatives and groups, seeking opinions on how to make best use of the town’s assets.

And Mr MacDonald says he is keen to hear the views of as many people as possible before presenting the findings of his study to HIE and Argyll and Bute Council by the end of this year.

“I would like to hear from people who are not ‘the usual suspects’ to get a broader perspective on the issues and assets facing Rothesay,” Mr MacDonald told The Buteman this week.

“It’s important for me to try and involve folk who are not normally involved in things like this.

“There’s no denying Rothesay has some challenges. The assets are phenomenal, and there’s been huge investment from the council and others: the question is, what difference has it made?”If you’d like to share your thoughts on Rothesay’s assets, challenges and future with Mr MacDonald, you can contact him on brian@scotregen.co.uk or by calling 07768 253568.

Mr MacDonald hopes to present his preliminary findings to HIE and Argyll and Bute Council in late November or early December, with the completed feasibility study by the end of the year.