Rothesay church garden idea dismissed

The former West Church building in Rothesay's Argyle Street has lain empty since 1978.
The former West Church building in Rothesay's Argyle Street has lain empty since 1978.

Partial demolition of Rothesay’s former West Church, and the creation of a garden space on the site, is no longer a viable option, according to a local community group.

The West Kirk Rothesay Preservation Group told local councillors this week that it had decided to concentrate on a feasibility study based on saving the entire building from demolition, rather than just the spire which is a prominent feature of the Rothesay skyline.

The group’s leader, Richard Whitcomb, told Argyll and Bute Council’s Bute and Cowal area committee: “The advice we have had from potential funders is that finding a sustainable end use for the building will be more challenging where a garden space is concerned. We have therefore stuck to options which would retain the whole building.”

Exploratory work aimed at finding out the internal state of the building - which has been fenced off since November 2013 - began this week.

The church, in Argyle Street, has lain empty and increasingly derelict since the Rothesay West congregation united with that of Rothesay Trinity in 1978.