‘Grand closing weekend’ planned for Rothesay Pavilion

Rothesay Pavilion will close in September 2015 at the start of a refurbishment project scheduled to last for 20 months.
Rothesay Pavilion will close in September 2015 at the start of a refurbishment project scheduled to last for 20 months.

Three days of events and activities will take place later this year to mark the closure of Rothesay Pavilion at the start of a major renovation project.

The building’s past, present and future are set to be celebrated on the weekend of September 4, 5 and 6, before the building’s doors are shut for 20 months for a comprehensive refurbishment which, it is hoped, will combine many of its original architectural features with modern requirements on facilities and accessibility.

The ‘closing event’ dates have been announced by Nick Merriman, chair of the Rothesay Pavilion Charity, which will run the refurbished building, in his latest monthly column for The Buteman on the progress of the scheme.

The scale of the renovation work depends to a large extent on the outcome of a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a ‘stage two’ grant of £2.63 million, due to be considered by the fund’s board members in the next few weeks.

So far the project - part of Argyll and Bute Council’s ‘CHORD’ scheme to regenerate the area’s five main towns - has secured £1.809 million from the council itself, £500,000 from Historic Scotland and £625,000 from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grants Fund.

The project is also awaiting an announcement on whether Highlands and Islands Enterprise will give financial support to the scheme, while around a dozen applications for smaller sums, all contributing towards the total project cost of £7.7 million, were made in September and October.

Argyll and Bute Council has also committed an additional £335,000 from its general reserve fund for urgent repairs to the exterior fabric of the building, parts of which have been fenced off on safety grounds since the spring of 2014.

* Read Nick Merriman’s latest Pavilion update in the next edition of The Buteman - on sale from Thursday, January 22.